Far from being the sole mode of explaining diseases, explanation in terms of – mostly probabilistic – causes has prompted wide and lively debate. Focusing on causal explanations means delving deeper into conceptions of causation, modelling and intervention strategies, which in turn present a range of important issues for both research and clinical contexts. The current volume has two purposes. The author, Raffaella Campaner, first emphasises the core features of, differences within, and interactions between a range of theories of explanation: mechanical and neo-mechanical approaches on the one hand, and the manipulationist approach on the other, examining their applicability in medicine. Secondly, she advocates a form of pluralism grounded in a detailed analysis of specific features of explanatory contexts in the health sciences, with particular focus on the study of cancer and mental disorders.

Raffaella Campaner is Associate Professor of Philosophy of Science at the University of Bologna (since 2015) and Life Member of Clare Hall, University of Cambridge (since 2019). She has worked extensively on scientific explanation and causation, both in philosophy of science and in philosophy of medicine. Her authored volumes include Spiegazioni e cause in medicina: un’indagine epistemologica (2005) and Philosophy of Medicine: Causality, Evidence and Explanation (2012).