Explanation in public health

Authored by: Olaf Dammann

The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Public Health

Print publication date:  October  2022
Online publication date:  October  2022

Print ISBN: 9781138938823
eBook ISBN: 9781315675411
Adobe ISBN:


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In this chapter, I first outline the public health workflow from assessment via goal definition and intervention to evaluation. Further, I discuss the types and subtypes of explanation used in public health research and practice: scientific, justificatory, methodological, and prospective. In doing this, I take the discussion far beyond the usual focus in philosophy of science as answers to “why?”-questions. The chapter ends with a few comments on my proposal.

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