Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

Establishing the teratogenicity of Zika and evaluating causal criteria

Williamson, Jon (2018) Establishing the teratogenicity of Zika and evaluating causal criteria. Synthese, . ISSN 0039-7857. (doi:10.1007/s11229-018-1866-9) (KAR id:67423)


The teratogenicity of the Zika virus was considered established in 2016, and is an interesting case because three different sets of causal criteria were used to assess teratogenicity. This paper appeals to the thesis of Russo and Williamson (2007) to devise an epistemological framework that can be used to compare and evaluate sets of causal criteria. The framework can also be used to decide when enough criteria are satisfied to establish causality. Arguably, the three sets of causal criteria considered here offer only a rudimentary assessment of mechanistic studies, and some suggestions are made as to alternative ways to establish causality.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1007/s11229-018-1866-9
Projects: Evaluating evidence in medicine, Grading evidence of mechanisms in physics and biology
Uncontrolled keywords: Hill Criteria; Shepard Criteria; Russo-Williamson Thesis; Causal criteria; Causal indicators; Zika virus; Teratogenicity
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Q Science > QR Microbiology > QR355 Virology
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Culture and Languages
Funders: Arts and Humanities Research Council (
Leverhulme Trust (
Depositing User: Jon Williamson
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2018 10:29 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Jan 2024 03:32 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.