Acta Analytica

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 265-292

First online:

On Anti Humeanism and Medical Singular Causation

  • Stefan DragulinescuAffiliated withPhilosophy Department, Lancaster University Email author 

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In this paper I offer an anti-Humean interpretation of the causal interactions in somatic medicine. I focus on life-threatening pathological states and show how Nancy Cartwright’s capacities can offer a plausible epistemology for medical processes and the singular causal claims advanced in medical diagnoses. I argue that the capacities manifested in the emergence of symptoms and signs could be tracked down if healthy organisms are construed as nomological machines and suggest that the causal reasoning from current medical practice bears a tacit adherence to anti-Humean assumptions.


Causation Medical causes Anti-Humeanism Capacity Nomological machine Cartwright