•  1033
    Bird argues that Armstrong’s necessitarian conception of physical modality and laws of nature generates a vicious regress with respect to necessitation. We show that precisely the same regress afflicts Bird’s dispositional-monist theory, and indeed, related views, such as that of Mumford & Anjum. We argue that dispositional monism is basically Armstrongian necessitarianism modified to allow for a thesis about property identity
  •  9
    Practicing Afrocentric Ethical Teaching
    Teaching Philosophy 43 (2): 179-199. 2020.
    Slowly, we are gaining a deeper understanding of the persisting psychological trauma experienced by students at colonial universities, and beginning to recognize that the Eurocentric curricula and pedagogies must change if students such as the “born-frees” in post-Apartheid South Africa are to flourish. In this article, I present a sub-Saharan African concept of “the ethical teacher,” and use this to ground a “ubiquitous action-reaction” teaching model. I use these concepts to develop a decoloni…Read more
  •  8
    Is “chronic kidney disease” a disease?
    with Richard J. Stevens and Jan Y. Verbakel
    Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 24 (5): 1033-1040. 2018.
  •  1
    Causation in Population Health Informatics and Data Science
    with Olaf Dammann
    Springer Verlag. 2018.
    This book covers the overlap between informatics, computer science, philosophy of causation, and causal inference in epidemiology and population health research. Key concepts covered include how data are generated and interpreted, and how and why concepts in health informatics and the philosophy of science should be integrated in a systems-thinking approach. Furthermore, a formal epistemology for the health sciences and public health is suggested. Causation in Population Health Informatics and D…Read more
  •  10
    Determinism and sporting prowess: A response to Mumford and Anjum
    South African Journal of Philosophy 36 (2): 217-222. 2017.
  •  40
    Disease is everywhere. Everyone experiences disease, everyone knows somebody who is, or has been diseased, and disease-related stories hit the headlines on a regular basis. Many important issues in the philosophy of disease, however, have received remarkably little attention from philosophical thinkers. This book examines a number of important debates in the philosophy of medicine, including 'what is disease?', and the roles and viability of concepts of causation, in clinical medicine and epidem…Read more
  •  18
    In this paper I untangle a recent debate in the philosophy of epidemiology, focusing in particular on the Potential Outcomes Approach to causation. As the POA strategy includes the quantification of ‘contrary-to-fact’ outcomes, it is unsurprising that it has been likened to the counterfactual analysis of causation briefly proposed by David Hume, and later developed by David Lewis. However, I contend that this has led to much confusion. Miguel Hernan and Sarah Taubman have recently argued that me…Read more
  •  343
    Some time ago, Joel Katzav and Brian Ellis debated the compatibility of dispositional essentialism with the principle of least action. Surprisingly, very little has been said on the matter since, even by the most naturalistically inclined metaphysicians. Here, we revisit the Katzav–Ellis arguments of 2004–05. We outline the two problems for the dispositionalist identified Katzav in his 2004 , and claim they are not as problematic for the dispositional essentialist at it first seems – but not for…Read more
  •  29
    True-to-Hume laws and the open-future
    South African Journal of Philosophy 37 (1): 99-110. 2018.
  •  630
    On the classification of diseases
    Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 35 (4): 251-269. 2014.
    Identifying the necessary and sufficient conditions for individuating and classifying diseases is a matter of great importance in the fields of law, ethics, epidemiology, and of course, medicine. In this paper, I first propose a means of achieving this goal, ensuring that no two distinct disease-types could correctly be ascribed to the same disease-token. I then posit a metaphysical ontology of diseases—that is, I give an account of what a disease is. This is essential to providing the most effe…Read more