Etiological Explanations: Illness Causation Theory, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Etiological Explanations

Illness Causation Theory, 1st Edition

By Olaf Dammann

CRC Press

240 pages | 30 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9781498784290
pub: 2020-04-27
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Theory of illness causation is an important issue in all biomedical sciences and solid etiological explanations are needed in order to develop therapeutic approaches in medicine and preventive interventions in public health. Until now, the literature about the theoretical underpinnings of illness causation research has been scarce and fragmented, and lacking a convenient summary. This interdisciplinary book provides a convenient and accessible distillation of the current status of research into this developing field, and adds a personal flavour to the discussion by proposing the etiological stance as a comprehensive approach to identify modifiable causes of illness.

Key features:

• The first synthesis of the epidemiological and philosophical concepts in this growing research area

• Gives an accessible overview of current methods in biomedical causal metaphysics ̶ what is a cause of illness? ̶ and epistemology ̶ how do we identify it?

• Proposes a novel approach that integrates modern epidemiological methodology and recent theories from philosophy of science

Written for postgraduate students and researchers in the health and biomedical sciences, including those undertaking courses in the philosophy of medicine/science, public and global health, introduction to epidemiology, research methods, and advanced reasoning, the content will also be of interest to practising public health workers, biomedical scientists, and physicians.

About the author:

Olaf Dammann is Professor and Vice Chair of Public Health & Community Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, USA

Cover image: Mask used by 'Eskimo' shaman in causation of illness. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY

Table of Contents

Evidence. Introduction. Current Approaches. Inference and Explanation. Problematic Inferences. Pathogenesis as Mechanism. Etiology as Process. Intervention as Explanation. Systems. Complexity. Pluralism. Systems. Summary and Conclusion.

About the Author

Olaf Dammann is Professor of Public Health & Community Medicine, Pediatrics and Ophthalmology at Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston. He gained his MD in Hamburg in 1990 and his SM at Harvard in 1997. His research interests include Perinatal Brain Damage Causation, Developmental Epidemiology and the Philosophy of Risk and Causation.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MEDICAL / General
MEDICAL / Administration
MEDICAL / Epidemiology
MEDICAL / Public Health