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Peer-Review Record

Emergence and Evidence: A Close Look at Bunge’s Philosophy of Medicine

Philosophies 2019, 4(3), 50;
Reviewer 1: Federica Russo
Reviewer 2: Anonymous
Philosophies 2019, 4(3), 50;
Received: 26 June 2019 / Revised: 12 August 2019 / Accepted: 14 August 2019 / Published: 20 August 2019

Round 1

Reviewer 1 Report

This is a fine review of Mario Bunge's work in philosophy of medicine. While Bunge has been a prolific author throughout his career, to my knowledge his work has not been discussed within philosophy of medicine. Therefore, this review will pay a good service by drawing the community's attention to Bunge's work. The presentation is accurate and detailed and the criticisms leveraged against Bunge's position about randomized controlled trials appears to be justified. The review also embed its counterarguments in current debates about evidential pluralism, namely the view that to establish causal claims in medicine one typically needs to appeal to evidence of mechanism as well as evidence of correlation.

Author Response

We would like to thank the reviewer for taking the time to thoroughly read our paper. We greatly appreciate the positive feedback. Given that no specific points have been raised that we should address, we decided to just include an additional keyword "mechanisms" in the paper, as this reviewer again emphasized the importance of evidence for mechanisms for establishing a causal claim, a point we deal with in this paper.

Reviewer 2 Report

I wasn't sure what to say about "scientific soundness" as this is very much a philosophical paper, but I ticked "high" because the authors clearly understand the arguments about scientific research very well, and their response to Bunge's work is supported by detailed reference to medical cases and scientific research.

I found this paper very interesting indeed.  It is well written, thorough and clearly relevant to on-going debates in the philosophy of medicine.  I'm currently editing a volume on the philosophy of person-centred care, and the points made in this article overlap with the central claims of several of the chapters there, particularly the comments about the limits of reductionism, the ontology of disease, agency and the crucial claim that "humans are not closed, but open systems which are in steady interaction with their environment".

While I could respond to particular points they make, I don't think it is the role of the reviewer to do this, but simply to comment on the suitability of the paper for publication. 

Author Response

We greatly appreciate the positive feedback from reviewer 2 and hope that many readers agree with this reviewer that our paper is an interesting, and hopefully inspiring, read. Since no specific points have been raised, we decided to not make any revisions to the current draft except for one additional keyword.

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