Le concept de biais en épidémiologie

Abstract : This PhD thesis, belonging to the tradition of historical epistemology, deals with the history and the formation of the concept of bias in epidemiology. It shows that the operational function of the concept of bias is essentially critical, in the sense that this concept, used by epidemiologists throughout history as an antonym to both objectivity, causality and evidence, is central to both the construction of epidemiology as a scientific discipline and the advent of scientific medicine. An historical and critical account is given of the actual definition of bias, conceived as a systematic error or deviation from the truth, and to the various taxonomies of bias which marked the history of this concept, whose origin goes back to the founders of mathematical statistics. Bias thus appears as a threat to the validity of the design of an epidemiological study, and to the validity of statistical inference and medical reasoning. In other words, what is studied here is the consequences of the probabilistic revolution on both epidemiology and medicine, which led epidemiologists and physicians to a kind of scepticism or even criticism about their own inferences, which would ultimately give birth to the evidence-based medicine's movement.
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Nicolas Brault. Le concept de biais en épidémiologie. Philosophie. Université Sorbonne Paris Cité, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017USPCC229⟩. ⟨tel-02167196v2⟩

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