David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 9 (3):293-306 (2006)
The prevention, treatment and management of disease are closely linked to how the causes of a particular disease are explained. For multi-factorial conditions, the causal explanations are inevitably complex and competing models may exist to explain the same condition. Selecting one particular causal explanation over another will carry practical and ethical consequences that are acutely relevant for health policy. In this paper our focus is two-fold; (i) the different models of causal explanation that are put forward within current scientific literature for the high and rising prevalence of the common complex conditions of coronary artery disease (CAD) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D); and (ii) how these explanations are taken up (or not) within national health policy guidelines. We examine the causal explanations for these two conditions through a systematic database search of current scientific literature. By identifying different causal explanations we propose a three-tier taxonomy of the most prominent models of explanations: (i) evolutionary, (ii) lifecourse, and (iii) lifestyle and environment. We elaborate this taxonomy with a micro-level thematic analysis to illustrate how some explanations are semantically and rhetorically foregrounded over others. We then investigate the uptake of the scientific causal explanations in health policy documents with regard to the prevention and management recommendations of current National Service Frameworks for CAD and T2D. Our findings indicate a lack of congruence between the complexity and frequent overlap of causal explanations evident in the scientific literature and the predominant focus on lifestyle recommendations found in the mainstream health policy documents
|Keywords||causal explanations common complex disorders coronary artery disease ethics health policy thematic and textual analysis|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
H. S. Faust (2013). A Cause Without an Effect? Primary Prevention and Causation. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 38 (5):239-558.
Similar books and articles
Erik Weber, Jeroen Van Bouwel & Robrecht Vanderbeeken (2005). Forms of Causal Explanation. Foundations of Science 10 (4):437-454.
Merrilee H. Salmon (2003). Causal Explanations of Behavior. Philosophy of Science 70 (4):720-738.
Elizabeth Valentine (1988). Teleological Explanations and Their Relation to Causal Explanation in Psychology. Philosophical Psychology 1 (1):61-68.
David Pineda (2011). Non-Committal Causal Explanations. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 24 (2):147-170.
M. Lange (2013). What Makes a Scientific Explanation Distinctively Mathematical? British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (3):485-511.
Pierre-Olivier Méthot (2011). Research Traditions and Evolutionary Explanations in Medicine. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 32 (1):75-90.
Ronald C. Hopson (1972). The Objects of Acceptance: Competing Scientific Explanations. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1972:349 - 363.
Bruce Glymour (1998). Contrastive, Non-Probabilistic Statistical Explanations. Philosophy of Science 65 (3):448-471.
Lisa Gannett (1999). What's in a Cause?: The Pragmatic Dimensions of Genetic Explanations. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 14 (3):349-373.
Rob Vanderbeeken & Erik Weber (2002). Dispositional Explanations of Behavior. Behavior and Philosophy 30:43 - 59.
Denis J. Hilton (1996). Mental Models and Causal Explanation: Judgements of Probable Cause and Explanatory Relevance. Thinking and Reasoning 2 (4):273 – 308.
Christopher Read Hitchcock (1996). The Mechanist and the Snail. Philosophical Studies 84 (1):91 - 105.
Johannes Persson (1999). The Determinables of Explanatory Mechanisms. Synthese 120 (1):77-87.
Ruth Berger (1998). Understanding Science: Why Causes Are Not Enough. Philosophy of Science 65 (2):306-332.
Christopher Read Hitchcock (1992). Causal Explanation and Scientific Realism. Erkenntnis 37 (2):151 - 178.
Added to index2011-01-29
Total downloads8 ( #182,051 of 1,140,037 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #157,514 of 1,140,037 )
How can I increase my downloads?