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April 21, 1989

Causal Inference

Author Affiliations

Centinela Hospital Medical Center Inglewood, Calif

Centinela Hospital Medical Center Inglewood, Calif

JAMA. 1989;261(15):2264-2265. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420150114051

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This book is difficult for a clinician to follow, from both a structural and a content perspective. At the Society of Epidemiologic Research meeting in June 1985, Kenneth Rothman organized a symposium on the philosophical aspects of causal inference. This book presents four essays representing the four talks presented at that symposium. In addition, these essays are followed by seven commentaries by other authorities representing different backgrounds. The final section is a rebuttal from the original four authors.

The content is centered on the opinions of Karl Popper on causal inference and how these opinions interact with more orthodox ones, such as those of Hill. The authors predominantly are proponents or antagonists of Popper's opinions. As such, the title of this book is misleading, since the text is a pseudodebate of one person's opinions rather than an equal presentation of most of the aspects of this area.

The authors also