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Interpreting Causality in the Health Sciences

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Abstract:

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.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02698590701498084

Publication date: July 1, 2007

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