There are always many causes involved in the coming into being of something. If, for instance, there are many factors that are causally involved in the etiology of a disease, even if each only has a small influence, then, in principle, they all have to be taken into account to get a complete causal explanation of the phenomenon at issue. But, as a matter of fact, complete causal explanations are rather hard to get (or too expensive) if not impossible, i.e., completely beyond our scientific abilities. In practice, we usually select even among those causes which are ontologically on a par, e.g., among genetic and environmental factors in the explanation of diseases and give priority to genetic factors. Given this, a philosophical analysis of causal explanations has to account for the partiality and biasedness of causal explanations. Since John Stuart Mill, philosophers have discussed this issue under the label causal selection. The paper presents an approach that revises R. C. Collingwood’s control principle, his answer to the issue, to illustrate how norms make causes. Evidence for the approach stems from the history of cancer research and genetics.
Kronfeldner M. Commentary: How norms make causes. International Journal of Epidemiology. 2014;43(2):1707-1713.
Kronfeldner, M. (2014). Commentary: How norms make causes. International Journal of Epidemiology, 43(2), 1707-1713. doi:10.1093/ije/dyu130
Kronfeldner, M. (2014). Commentary: How norms make causes. International Journal of Epidemiology 43, 1707-1713.
Kronfeldner, M., 2014. Commentary: How norms make causes. International Journal of Epidemiology, 43(2), p 1707-1713.
M. Kronfeldner, “Commentary: How norms make causes”, International Journal of Epidemiology, vol. 43, 2014, pp. 1707-1713.
Kronfeldner, M.: Commentary: How norms make causes. International Journal of Epidemiology. 43, 1707-1713 (2014).
Kronfeldner, Maria. “Commentary: How norms make causes”. International Journal of Epidemiology 43.2 (2014): 1707-1713.
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