Not only has the philosophical debate on causation been gaining ground in the last few decades, but it has also increasingly addressed the sciences. The biomedical sciences are among the most prominent fields that have been considered, with a number of works tackling the understanding of the notion of cause, the assessment of genuinely causal relations and the use of causal knowledge in applied contexts. Far from denying the merits of the debate on causation and the major theories it comprises, this paper is meant as a stimulus for theorists of causation in the philosophy of biomedicine, with a focus on clinical matters. Without aiming at putting forward an original theory of causation and starting from the narration of two actual but paradigmatic cases at the joints between biomedical research and clinical practice, we want to point out that some pathological situations addressed by molecular medicine actually prove resistant to (at least) some of our major epistemological accounts of causal explanation. Given this scenario, which is very frequent in our hospitals, our analysis aims to provide a stimulus for the debate among theorists of causation in biomedicine interested in real cases in science in practice. We believe that this might in turn encourage some more general rethinking of the complex intertwinement of science, philosophy of science and ethics, as well as of the role of philosophy of science for clinical medicine itself.

Causal Reasoning and Clinical Practice: Challenges from Molecular Biology

BONIOLO, GIOVANNI;Raffaella Campaner
2017

Abstract

Not only has the philosophical debate on causation been gaining ground in the last few decades, but it has also increasingly addressed the sciences. The biomedical sciences are among the most prominent fields that have been considered, with a number of works tackling the understanding of the notion of cause, the assessment of genuinely causal relations and the use of causal knowledge in applied contexts. Far from denying the merits of the debate on causation and the major theories it comprises, this paper is meant as a stimulus for theorists of causation in the philosophy of biomedicine, with a focus on clinical matters. Without aiming at putting forward an original theory of causation and starting from the narration of two actual but paradigmatic cases at the joints between biomedical research and clinical practice, we want to point out that some pathological situations addressed by molecular medicine actually prove resistant to (at least) some of our major epistemological accounts of causal explanation. Given this scenario, which is very frequent in our hospitals, our analysis aims to provide a stimulus for the debate among theorists of causation in biomedicine interested in real cases in science in practice. We believe that this might in turn encourage some more general rethinking of the complex intertwinement of science, philosophy of science and ethics, as well as of the role of philosophy of science for clinical medicine itself.
Giovanni, Boniolo; Raffaella, Campaner
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/618097
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