Evidential Pluralism

Evidential Pluralism is a theory about the epistemology of causation. It holds that:

  • establishing causation normally requires establishing that the putative cause and effect are both appropriately correlated and connected by an appropriate mechanism;
  • so when assessing causation, one should evaluate both association studies and mechanistic studies, where available.

For a quick introduction to Evidential Pluralism and its applications, see

Focus on Evidential Pluralism, The Reasoner 15(6), 2021.


Evidential Pluralism applied to the social sciences

For an introduction, see

Yafeng Shan and Jon Williamson: Applying Evidential Pluralism to the social sciences, European Journal for the Philosophy of Science 11(4):96, 2021. . doi: 10.1007/s13194-021-00415-z

For more detail see the research project

Evidential pluralism in the social sciences (Leverhulme Trust 2019-22)


Evidential Pluralism applied to medicine (EBM+)

For some motivation, see

Jon Williamson: Establishing causal claims in medicine, International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 32(1): 33-61, 2019. doi: 10.1080/02698595.2019.1630927

For an overview of the EBM+ programme, see

Veli-Pekka Parkkinen, Christian Wallmann, Michael Wilde, Brendan Clarke, Phyllis Illari, Michael P. Kelly, Charles Norell, Federica Russo, Beth Shaw and Jon Williamson: Evaluating evidence of mechanisms in medicine: Principles and procedures, Springer, 2018.

Some recent papers include:

For more detail, see the research projects: