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Technology-Driven Surrogates and the Perils of Epistemic Misalignment: An Analysis from Contemporary Microbiome Science

Suárez, Javier and Boem, Federico (2022) Technology-Driven Surrogates and the Perils of Epistemic Misalignment: An Analysis from Contemporary Microbiome Science. [Preprint]

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Abstract

A general view in philosophy of science states that the appropriateness of an object to act as a surrogate depends on the user’s decision to utilize it as such. This paper challenges this claim by examining the role of surrogative reasoning in high-throughput sequencing technologies (technology-driven surrogates) as they are used in contemporary microbiome science. Drawing on this, we argue that, in technology-driven surrogates, knowledge about the type of inference practically permitted and epistemically justified by the surrogate constrains their use and thus puts a limit to the user’s intentions to use any object as a surrogate for what they please. Ignoring this leads to a serious epistemic misalignment, which ultimately prevents surrogative reasoning. Thus, we conclude that knowledge about the type of surrogate reasoning that the technologies being used allow is fundamental to avoid misinterpreting the consequences of the data obtained with them, the hypothesis this data supports, and what these technologies are surrogates of.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Suárez, Javierjavier.suarez@uj.edu.pl0000-0001-5851-2277
Boem, Federico0000-0003-4339-6431
Keywords: Microbiota; Philosophy of Microbiology; Inferential Reasoning; High-throughput Technology; Repertoire; Logic of Research Questions
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology
Specific Sciences > Complex Systems
General Issues > Evidence
General Issues > Models and Idealization
General Issues > Technology
Depositing User: Dr Javier Suárez
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2022 20:52
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2022 20:52
Item ID: 21019
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology
Specific Sciences > Complex Systems
General Issues > Evidence
General Issues > Models and Idealization
General Issues > Technology
Date: 27 September 2022
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/21019

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