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  1. 4 What is a Medical Theory?Paul Thagard - unknown
    Modern medicine has produced many successful theories concerning the causes of diseases. For example, we know that tuberculosis is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and that scurvy is caused by a deficiency of vitamin C. This chapter discusses the nature of medical theories from the perspective of the philosophy, history, and psychology of science. I will review prominent philosophical accounts of what constitutes a scientific theory, and develop a new account of medical theories as representations of mechanisms that explain (...)
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  • Explanation: A Mechanist Alternative.William Bechtel - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biol and Biomed Sci 36 (2):421--441.
    Explanations in the life sciences frequently involve presenting a model of the mechanism taken to be responsible for a given phenomenon. Such explanations depart in numerous ways from nomological explanations commonly presented in philosophy of science. This paper focuses on three sorts of differences. First, scientists who develop mechanistic explanations are not limited to linguistic representations and logical inference; they frequently employ dia- grams to characterize mechanisms and simulations to reason about them. Thus, the epistemic resources for presenting mechanistic explanations (...)
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  • Explanation: A Mechanist Alternative.William Bechtel & Adele Abrahamsen - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 36 (2):421-441.
    Explanations in the life sciences frequently involve presenting a model of the mechanism taken to be responsible for a given phenomenon. Such explanations depart in numerous ways from nomological explanations commonly presented in philosophy of science. This paper focuses on three sorts of differences. First, scientists who develop mechanistic explanations are not limited to linguistic representations and logical inference; they frequently employ diagrams to characterize mechanisms and simulations to reason about them. Thus, the epistemic resources for presenting mechanistic explanations are (...)
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  • What's in a Cause?: The Pragmatic Dimensions of Genetic Explanations. [REVIEW]Lisa Gannett - 1999 - Biology and Philosophy 14 (3):349-373.
    The paper argues for a pragmatic account of genetic explanation. This is to say that when a disease or other trait is termed genetic, the reasons for singling out genes as causes over other, also necessary, genetic and nongenetic conditions are not wholly theoretical but include pragmatic dimensions. Whether the explanation is the presence of a trait in an individual or differences in a trait among individuals, genetic explanations are context-dependent in three ways: they are relative to a causal background (...)
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  • Thinking About Mechanisms.Peter K. Machamer, Lindley Darden & Carl F. Craver - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-25.
    The concept of mechanism is analyzed in terms of entities and activities, organized such that they are productive of regular changes. Examples show how mechanisms work in neurobiology and molecular biology. Thinking in terms of mechanisms provides a new framework for addressing many traditional philosophical issues: causality, laws, explanation, reduction, and scientific change.
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  • Genetic Traits.Fred Gifford - 1990 - Biology and Philosophy 5 (3):327-347.
    Recognizing that all traits are the result of an interaction between genes and environment, I offer a set of criteria for nevertheless making sense of our practice of singling out certain traits as genetic ones, in effect making a distinction between causes and mere conditions. The central criterion is that a trait is genetic if it is genetic differences that make the differences in that trait variable in a given population. A second criterion requires that genetic traits be individuated in (...)
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  • Causes and Conditions.J. L. Mackie - 1965 - American Philosophical Quarterly 2 (4):245 - 264.
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  • Towards an Adequate Account of Genetic Disease.Kelly C. Smith - 2007 - In Kincaid McKitrick (ed.), Establishing Medical Reality: Essays in Metaphysics and Epistemology of Medicine. Springer. pp. 83-110.
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  • Genetic Susceptibility to a Complex Disease: The Key Role of Functional Redundancy.Gaëlle Debret, Camille Jung, Jean-Pierre Hugot, Leigh Pascoe, Jean-Marc Victor & Annick Lesne - 2011 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 33 (4).
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  • The Concept of Genetic Disease.David Magnus - 2004 - In Arthur Caplan, James J. McCartney & Dominic A. Sisti (eds.), Health, Disease, and Illness: Concepts in Medicine. Georgetown University Press. pp. 233--42.
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