If not evidence, then what? Or does medicine really need a base?

J Eval Clin Pract. 2002 May;8(2):113-9. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2753.2002.00356.x.


This essay analyses the concept of ' base' in relation to its use in evidence-based medicine (EBM). It evaluates the extent to which evidence provides a sufficient base for health care to rest and discusses whether medicine needs a base, and, if so, what are the other possible candidates. This paper will argue that EBM is linked epistemologically to the theory of foundationalism and shows how important criticisms of EBM emerge from anti-foundationalist epistemologies and interpretive frameworks. Drawing from recent writings in the philosophy of science, it is argued that there is a need to see multiple perspectives relevant to the practice and understanding of medicine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Humans
  • Knowledge
  • Philosophy, Medical