Interpreting causality in the health sciences

International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 21 (2):157 – 170 (2007)
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We argue that the health sciences make causal claims on the basis of evidence both of physical mechanisms, and of probabilistic dependencies. Consequently, an analysis of causality solely in terms of physical mechanisms or solely in terms of probabilistic relationships, does not do justice to the causal claims of these sciences. Yet there seems to be a single relation of cause in these sciences - pluralism about causality will not do either. Instead, we maintain, the health sciences require a theory of causality that unifies its mechanistic and probabilistic aspects. We argue that the epistemic theory of causality provides the required unification.



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Author Profiles

Jon Williamson
University of Kent
Federica Russo
University of Amsterdam

References found in this work

Philosophical Papers Vol. II.David K. Lewis (ed.) - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
Causality and explanation.Wesley C. Salmon - 1998 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Physical Causation.Phil Dowe - 2000 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
A probabilistic theory of causality.Patrick Suppes - 1970 - Amsterdam: North-Holland Pub. Co..
Physical Causation.Phil Dowe - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (1):244-248.

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