Causation in medicine: The disease entity model

Philosophy of Science 44 (4):619-637 (1977)
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This paper examines the way in which causal relations are understood in the dominant model in contemporary medicine. It argues that the causal relation is not definable in terms of the condition relation, but that in general for conditions of an occurrence to be among its causes they must answer instrumental interests in a certain way, and there are further criteria for distinguishing 'the' cause of a disease (i.e., its etiological agent) from other causal factors, which are based upon instrumental interests peculiar to medicine. It also argues that diseases are complex processes of which both clinical and underlying patho-physiological manifestations are proper parts (as contrasted with effects)



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Citations of this work

The Ontic Account of Scientific Explanation.Carl F. Craver - 2014 - In Marie I. Kaiser, Oliver R. Scholz, Daniel Plenge & Andreas Hüttemann (eds.), Explanation in the Special Sciences: The Case of Biology and History. Springer Verlag. pp. 27-52.
Concepts of disease and health.Dominic Murphy - 2015 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
What are chronic diseases?Jonathan Fuller - 2018 - Synthese 195 (7):3197-3220.

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Why-Questions.Sylvain Bromberger - 1966 - In Robert G. Colodny (ed.), Mind and Cosmos -- Essays in Contemporary Science and Philosophy. University of Pittsburgh Press. pp. 86--111.
Causality and determinism.Georg Henrik von Wright - 1974 - New York,: Columbia University Press.
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Causation and recipes.Douglas Gasking - 1955 - Mind 64 (256):479-487.
What is disease?Lester S. King - 1954 - Philosophy of Science 21 (3):193-203.

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