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Casuistic Reasoning, Standards of Evidence, and Expertise on Elite Athletes’ Nutrition

Department of Philosophy, Bielefeld University, 33501 Bielefeld, Germany
Philosophies 2019, 4(2), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies4020019
Received: 4 April 2019 / Revised: 22 April 2019 / Accepted: 23 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Philosophical Issues in Sport Science)
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Abstract

This paper assesses the epistemic challenges of giving nutrition advice to elite athletes in light of recent philosophical discussion concerning evidence-based practice. Our trust in experts largely depends on the assumption that their advice is based on reliable evidence. In many fields, the evaluation of the reliability of evidence is made on the basis of standards that originate from evidence-based medicine. I show that at the Olympic or professional level, implementing nutritional plans in real-world competitions requires contextualization of knowledge in a way that contravenes the tenets of evidence-based thinking. Nutrition experts need to be able to combine and apply evidence from multiple sources, including the previous successes and failures of particular athletes. I argue that in this sense, the practice of elite sport nutrition embodies casuistic reasoning. View Full-Text
Keywords: elite sports; sport nutrition; standards of evidence; evidence-based practices; randomized controlled trials; philosophy of medicine; casuistry elite sports; sport nutrition; standards of evidence; evidence-based practices; randomized controlled trials; philosophy of medicine; casuistry
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Jukola, S. Casuistic Reasoning, Standards of Evidence, and Expertise on Elite Athletes’ Nutrition. Philosophies 2019, 4, 19.

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