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J Eval Clin Pract. 1997 Aug;3(3):201-6.

Certainty, probability and abduction: why we should look to C.S. Peirce rather than Gödel for a theory of clinical reasoning.

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Community Medicine Residency Programme, University of Toronto, Canada.


This paper argues that Gödel's proof does not provide the appropriate conceptual basis on which to counter the claims of evidence-based medicine. The nature of, and differences between, deductive, inductive and abductive inference are briefly surveyed. The work of the American logician C.S. Peirce is introduced as a possible framework for a theory of clinical reasoning which can ground the claims of both evidence-based medicine and its critics.

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