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 flavor to the discussion by proposing the etiological stance as a comprehensive approach to identify modifiable causes of illness.
• Provides a 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 practicing public health workers, biomedical scientists, and physicians.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Olaf Dammann is Professor and Vice Chair of Public Health and Community Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; as well as a Professor in the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.
Cover image: Mask used by "Eskimo" shaman in causation of illness.
Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0
Table of Contents
1. Introduction. 2. A Multidisciplinary Problem. 3. Etiological Explanations. 4. Etiological Pluralism. 5. Difference-Making and Mechanism. 6. Process Perspective. 7. Combined Contribution. 8. Etiological Coherence.
Olaf Dammann is Professor and Vice Chair of of Public Health and Community Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; as well as a Professor in the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.