Share this article on:

On the Origin of Hill's Causal Criteria

Morabia, Alfredo
Epidemiology: September 1991
Brief Report: PDF Only

The rules to assess causation formulated by the eighteenth century Scottish philosopher David Hume are compared to Sir Austin Bradford Hill's causal criteria. The strength of the analogy between Hume's rules and Hill's causal criteria suggests that, irrespective of whether Hume's work was known to Hill or Hill's predecessors, Hume's thinking expresses a point of view still widely shared by contemporary epidemiologists. The lack of systematic experimental proof to causal inferences in epidemiology may explain the analogy of Hume's and Hill's, as opposed to Popper's, logic

© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.