Inductive Risk and Regulatory Toxicology: A Comment on de Melo-Martín and Intemann

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Hicks, Daniel
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In a recent paper, Inmaculada de Melo-Martín and Kristen Intemann consider several ways in which, from the perspective of the argument from inductive risk, ethical and political values might "sometimes [be] necessary in decisions at the core of scientific reasoning." Specifically, they consider whether these kinds of values are logically, epistemically, pragmatically, or ethically necessary; and argue that there are significant conceptual problems in each case. In this comment, using regulatory uses of high-throughput toxicology at the US Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] as a case study, I suggest some clarifications and corrections to some of their claims about pragmatic necessity. I conclude that, while an inductive risk framework has some significant limitations, it is still conceptually and rhetorically valuable.