Explaining disease: Correlations, causes, and mechanisms [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Minds and Machines 8 (1):61-78 (1998)
Why do people get sick? I argue that a disease explanation is best thought of as causal network instantiation, where a causal network describes the interrelations among multiple factors, and instantiation consists of observational or hypothetical assignment of factors to the patient whose disease is being explained. This paper first discusses inference from correlation to causation, integrating recent psychological discussions of causal reasoning with epidemiological approaches to understanding disease causation, particularly concerning ulcers and lung cancer. It then shows how causal mechanisms represented by causal networks can contribute to reasoning involving correlation and causation. The understanding of causation and causal mechanisms provides the basis for a presentation of the causal network instantiation model of medical explanation.
|Keywords||explanation disease medicine causality mechanism causal network|
|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
Daniel J. Nicholson (2012). The Concept of Mechanism in Biology. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (1):152-163.
Raffaella Campaner & Maria Carla Galavotti (2012). Evidence and the Assessment of Causal Relations in the Health Sciences. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 26 (1):27 - 45.
Raffaella Campaner (2011). Understanding Mechanisms in the Health Sciences. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 32 (1):5-17.
Similar books and articles
Karl-Dieter Opp (2005). Explanations by Mechanisms in the Social Sciences. Problems, Advantages and Alternatives. Mind and Society 4 (2):163-178.
Alison Gopnik & Laura Schulz (eds.) (2007). Causal Learning: Psychology, Philosophy, and Computation. Oxford University Press.
Dominick A. Rizzi & Stig Andur Pedersen (1992). Causality in Medicine: Towards a Theory and Terminology. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 13 (3).
Daniel Steel (2004). Social Mechanisms and Causal Inference. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 34 (1):55-78.
Albert Mosley (2004). Does Hiv or Poverty Cause Aids? Biomedical and Epidemiological Perspectives. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 25 (5-6):399-421.
P. Thagard (1996). The Concept of Disease: Structure and Change. Philosophical Explorations 29:445-478.
Dominick A. Rizzi (1994). Causal Reasoning and the Diagnostic Process. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 15 (3):315-333.
Kelly C. Smith (2001). A Disease by Any Other Name: Musings on the Concept of a Genetic Disease. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 4 (1):19-30.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads37 ( #51,647 of 1,140,334 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #46,721 of 1,140,334 )
How can I increase my downloads?