•  412
    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
  •  258
    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
  •  26
    True-to-Hume laws and the open-future
    South African Journal of Philosophy 37 (1): 99-110. 2018.
  •  26
    This is a draft manuscript of a book that examines the philosophy of disease; in particular, the book focuses on the concept of disease, and on concepts of causation, and causal inference in clinical medicine and epidemiology.
  •  16
    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
  •  8
    Determinism and sporting prowess: A response to Mumford and Anjum
    South African Journal of Philosophy 36 (2): 217-222. 2017.
  •  4
    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. 2019.
    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