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Methods of Inference and Shaken Baby Syndrome

Binney, Nicholas (2023) Methods of Inference and Shaken Baby Syndrome. Philosophy of Medicine, 4 (1). pp. 1-33. ISSN 2692-3963

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Exploring the early development of an area of medical literature can inform contemporary medical debates. Different methods of inference include deduction, induction, abduction, and inference to the best explanation. I argue that early shaken baby research is best understood as using abduction to tentatively suggest that infants with unexplained intracranial and ocular bleeding have been assaulted. However, this tentative conclusion was quickly interpreted, by some at least, as a general rule that infants with these pathological signs were certainly cases of abuse. Rather than focusing on inductive arguments, researchers today may be better off focusing on making a compelling inference to the best explanation.

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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Binney, Nicholasn.binney@erasmusmc.nl0000-0003-0686-3184
Keywords: Induction Abduction Abusive head trauma Non-accidental head injury Diagnostic criteria
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Medicine
Depositing User: Professor Alex Broadbent
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2023 13:40
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2023 13:40
Item ID: 22192
Journal or Publication Title: Philosophy of Medicine
Publisher: University Library System, University of Pittsburgh
Official URL:
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.5195/pom.2023.41
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Medicine
Date: 10 May 2023
Page Range: pp. 1-33
Volume: 4
Number: 1
ISSN: 2692-3963

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