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Keeping Score for Causal Claims: Causal Contextualism applied to a Medical Case

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Abstract

This article investigates how Causal Contextualism applies in a medical context. It is shown how the correct interpretation of some medical causal claims depends on relevant alternatives and then argued that these relevant alternatives are determined by standards of practice and practical limitations (of equipment, personnel, expertise, cost), amongst other factors. Causal Contextualism has recently been defended by a number of philosophers; however details of the relevant factors determining content in different contexts have been lacking. It seems to me that establishing such details of Causal Contextualism goes a long way towards making the view plausible, and is also necessary for discovering some important consequences of Causal Contextualism.

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