, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 387–391 | Cite as

Causality in medicine, and its relation to action, mechanisms, and probability

Donald Gillies: Causality, probability, and medicine. Abingdon: Routledge, 2018, 300pp, £29.99 E-Book
  • Daniel Auker-HowlettEmail author
  • Michael Wilde
Book Review

Medical researchers want to find out the causes of disease, and they want to find out what works to prevent or cure those diseases. A good deal of recent work in the philosophy of medicine has therefore been concerned with the issue of working out exactly what sort of evidence is required to establish a causal hypothesis in medicine (Russo and Williamson 2007; Howick 2011; Parkkinen et al. 2018; Clarke et al. 2014). One way to make progress on this epistemological issue is to first work out the correct metaphysical theory of causality for medicine. In this book, Donald Gillies supports a particular theory of generic causality for theoretical medicine by testing it against detailed historical case studies in medicine. He then investigates the implications of such a theory for the epistemology of medicine.

The book comes in three parts. In the first part, Gillies proposes a version of a so-called action-relatedtheory of deterministic causality, where an action-related theory stresses...



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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of KentCanterburyUK

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