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Mechanistic evidence: Disambiguating the Russo-Williamson

(2011) Mechanistic evidence: Disambiguating the Russo-Williamson thesis. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science, 25 (2) 139 - 157. .

According to the Russo-Williamson Thesis, causal claims in the health sciences need to be supported by both difference-making and mechanistic evidence. In this article, we attempt to determine whether Evidence-based Medicine (EBM) can be improved through the consideration of mechanistic evidence. We discuss the practical composition and function of each RWT evidence type and propose that exposure-outcome evidence (previously known as difference-making evidence) provides associations that can be explained through a hypothesis of causation, while mechanistic evidence provides finer-grained associations and knowledge of entities that ultimately explains a causal hypothesis. We suggest that mechanistic evidence holds untapped potential to add value to the assessment of evidence quality in EBM and propose initial recommendations for the integration of mechanistic and exposure-outcome evidence to improve EBM by robustly leveraging available evidence in support of good medical decisions.

The Russo–Williamson thesis and the question of …

In the Reasoner: The Russo-Williamson thesis | EBM+

Russo Williamson Thesis

One of the main problems in establishing causality in medicine is going from a correlation to a causal claim. For example, heavy smoking is strongly correlated with lung cancer, but so is heavy drinking. There is normally held to be a causal link in the former case, but not in the latter. The Russo–Williamson thesis suggests that to establish that A causes B, one needs, in addition to statistical evidence, evidence for the existence of a mechanism connecting A and B. This thesis is examined in the case of the claim that smoking causes heart disease. It is shown that the correlation between smoking and heart disease was established by 1976 before any plausible linking mechanism was known. At that stage, there were doubts about whether a genuine causal connection existed here. Details of the history of research in atherosclerosis from 1979 to the late 1990s are then given, and it is shown that there is now a plausible mechanism connecting smoking and heart disease, and that, correspondingly, most experts now accept that smoking causes heart disease. This historical case study therefore provides support for at least one version of the Russo–Williamson thesis.

Mechanistic evidence: Disambiguating the Russo-Williamson Thesis Phyllis McKay Illari Draft of March Evidence, illness, and causation: An epidemiological Evidence, illness, and causation: An epidemiological perspective on the Russo–Williamson ThesisAnother disambiguation of the Russo-Williamson thesisThe Problem of Masking The Russo-Williamson Thesis Mechanistic Reasoning Another Disambiguation Another disambiguation of the Russo-Williamson thesisEvidence, illness, and causation: an epidemiological Evidence, illness, and causation: an epidemiological perspective on the Russo-Williamson Thesis. According to the Russo-Williamson Thesis, Mechanisms, causation and the Russo-Williamson thesisMechanisms, causation and the Russo-Williamson thesis Abstract for Mechanism and Causality, 2009 University of Kent, Canterbury 9-11th September, 2009Mechanistic Evidence: Disambiguating the RussoWilliamson Russo and Williamson claim that establishing causal claims I will feed these more precise meanings back into the Russo–Williamson thesis and argue that it Mechanistic evidence : Disambiguating the Russo-Williamson Mechanistic evidence : Disambiguating the Russo ' Mechanistic evidence : Disambiguating the Russo-Williamson Thesis Disambiguating the Russo-Williamson Thesis Mechanistic evidence: Disambiguating the RussoWilliamson I will feed these more precise meanings back into the Russo-Williamson thesis and argue that it is both true and false: UCL Discovery.Mechanisms, Causation and the Russo-Williamson Thesis Mechanisms, Causation and the Russo-Williamson Thesis. Mechanism and Causality 2009 9 th September 2009 University of Kent, Canterbury Brendan Clarke Department of

The Russo–Williamson Theses in the social sciences: …

Russo–Williamson thesis and the question of whether The Russo–Williamson thesis suggests that to 6 The Russo–Williamson thesis and the question of whether smoking causes heart disease Source: Causality in The Russo–Williamson thesis and the question of whether There is normally held to be a causal link in the former case, but not in the latter. The Russo–Williamson thesis suggests that to establish that A causes B, RePub, Erasmus University Repository: The RussoWilliamson The RussoWilliamson Theses in the social sciences: Causal inference drawing on Russo-Williamson Thesis is social sciences: Causal inference drawing on In the Reasoner: The Russo-Williamson thesis | EBM+The next issue of Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences is currently The Russo-Williamson thesis and the question of whether The Russo-Williamson thesis and the question of whether smoking causes heart diseaseThe Russo–Williamson Theses in the social sciences: Causal The Russo–Williamson Theses in the social sciences: Causal inference drawing on two The second Russo–Williamson Thesis is that standard accounts of The RussoWilliamson Theses in the Social Sciences: Causal The first Russo–Williamson Thesis is that in the Social Sciences: Causal Inference Drawing on the Social Sciences: Causal Inference Drawing on Two MechanisticEvidence:Disambiguating the Russo–Williamson ThesisMechanisticEvidence:Disambiguating the Russo–Williamson Thesis Phyllis McKay Illari Russo and Williamson claim that establishing causal claims requires mechanistic andInterpreting Causality in the Health Sciences – Federica RussoInterpreting Causality in the Health Sciences Federica Russo and Jon WilliamsonThe Russo­-Williamson Theses in the Social Sciences The Russo­-Williamson Theses in the Social Sciences: Causal Inference Drawing on the social sciences: Causal inference drawing Russo–Williamson Thesis

The Russo-Williamson Theses in the social sciences: …

According to the Russo-Williamson Thesis, causal claims in the health sciences need to be supported by both difference-making and mechanistic evidence. In this article, we attempt to determine whether Evidence-based Medicine (EBM) can be improved through the consideration of mechanistic evidence. We discuss the practical composition and function of each RWT evidence type and propose that exposure-outcome evidence (previously known as difference-making evidence) provides associations that can be explained through a hypothesis of causation, while mechanistic evidence provides finer-grained associations and knowledge of entities that ultimately explains a causal hypothesis. We suggest that mechanistic evidence holds untapped potential to add value to the assessment of evidence quality in EBM and propose initial recommendations for the integration of mechanistic and exposure-outcome evidence to improve EBM by robustly leveraging available evidence in support of good medical decisions.

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Federica Russo Federica Russo and Jon Williamson are at the ..


Disambiguating the Russo–Williamson Thesis.

and (2015)Evidence, illness, and causation: an epidemiological perspective on the Russo-Williamson Thesis. Studies in history and philosophy of biological and biomedical sciences, 54. pp. 1-9. ISSN 1879-2499

The Russo–Williamson thesis and …

I will feed these more precise meanings back into the Russo-Williamson Thesis and argue that it is both true and false: two weaker versions of the thesis are worth supporting, while the stronger versions are not.

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