Philosophy Seminar Series

Inferring Causation in Public Health Studies - Untangling the Potential Outcomes Approach

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Seminars

As part of the School of Arts and Humanities Philosophy and Humanities Research Seminar series, Ben Smart, University of Johannesburg, presents: Inferring Causation in Public Health Studies - Untangling the Potential Outcomes Approach.

  • From: Thursday 19 March 2015, 3 pm
  • To: Thursday 19 March 2015, 5 pm
  • Location: 009, Lionel Robbins building, Nottingham Trent University, Clifton Campus, Clifton Lane, Nottingham, NG11 8NS

Past event

Event details

As part of the School of Arts and Humanities Philosophy and Humanities Research Seminar series, Ben Smart, University of Johannesburg, presents: Inferring Causation in Public Health Studies - Untangling the Potential Outcomes Approach.

Behind every diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of disease encountered in everyday life lie many group studies. These studies are conducted by epidemiologists - scientists and statisticians who try (among other things) to determine the causes of disease, and the related issue of how to best interfere with them. A number of strategies are employed when inferring causal relationships between exposures (say, smoking) and disease-outcomes (say, cancer), one of which is commonly known as 'The Potential Outcomes Approach' (POA). In the last decade or so, the POA has become increasingly popular, but as philosophers of science begin to criticise the conceptual analysis of causation in public health that it offers, the view has become somewhat confused. In this paper I 'untangle' the POA - I claim that those taking the view to be equivalent to Lewis's popular account of causation are misguided, and further, that the charges of circularity and falsity Alex Broadbent raises against the POA can be diffused without difficulty.

This seminar is hosted by Ben Curtis.

All welcome.

Location details

Room/Building:

009, Lionel Robbins building

Address:

Nottingham Trent University
Clifton Campus
Clifton Lane
Nottingham
NG11 8NS

Past event

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