The Etiological Stance: Explaining Illness Occurrence


Kelly, Kelly, and Russo (2014) recently proposed to integrate biological, behavioral, and social mechanisms into "mixed mechanisms" situated in the individual's "lifeworld" when considering illness causation. This article suggests considering terminological discrepancies, replacing the pathogenetic with an etiological perspective (that includes, but is not limited to pathogenesis), and rethinking whether the lifeworld concept adds to what we consider an individual's "environment." It also proposes replacing the notion of "mixed mechanisms" with the concept of "combined contributions" of factors in etiological explanations of illness.