The Explanatory Role of Mechanisms in Providing Successful Medical Treatment Open Access
Downloadable ContentDownload PDF
How much must be known about a disease, the human body, and the relationships between the two in order to treat that disease successfully? One of the major debates in the philosophy of biology is centered on the understanding of scientific processes and how those processes can be explained when they occur across different levels in the body. This poster will argue that the best way to provide a medical explanation that will lead to successful treatment is through the use of a mechanistic model. This will be presented through two examples, the first of which is an example that emphasizes the importance of mechanisms in developing new and successful treatments for cancer. The second example tells a story of how failing to understand the mechanism of biointeraction for the drug Thalidomide led to dangerous consequences. This poster will then present the most fitting mechanistic theory to provide an adequate medical explanation. This theory has been developed by Carl Craver, and though he did not intend it to be used as a medical explanation it provides the necessary scaffolding for a sufficient medical explanation that is likely to lead to more successful treatments.