World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Etiology

Article Id: WHEBN0000010055
Reproduction Date:

Title: Etiology  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Causality, Causes of autism, Neuroimmunology, Origin myth, Child psychopathology
Collection: Causality, Creation Myths, Greek Mythology Understanding and Criticism, Mythography, Philosophy of Science
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Etiology

Etiology (; alternatively aetiology) is the study of causation, or origination. The word is derived from the Greek αἰτιολογία, aitiologia, "giving a reason for" (αἰτία, aitia, "cause"; and -λογία, -logia).[1]

The word is most commonly used in medical and philosophical theories, where it is used to refer to the study of why things occur, or even the reasons behind the way that things act, and is used in philosophy, physics, psychology, government, geography, spatial analysis, medicine, theology, and biology in reference to the causes of various phenomena. An etiological myth is a myth intended to explain a name or create a mythic history for a place or family.

Contents

  • Mythology 1
  • Medicine 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Mythology

An etiological myth, or origin myth, is a myth intended to explain the origins of cult practices, natural phenomena, proper names and the like. For example, the name Delphi and its associated deity, Apollon Delphinios, are explained in the Homeric Hymn which tells of how Apollo, in the shape of a dolphin (delphis), propelled Cretans over the seas to make them his priests. While Delphi is actually related to the word delphus ("womb"), many etiological myths are similarly based on folk etymology (the term "Amazon", for example). In the Aeneid (published circa 17 BC), Virgil claims the descent of Augustus Caesar's Julian clan from the hero Aeneas through his son Ascanius, also called Iulus. The story of Prometheus' sacrifice trick at Mecone in Hesiod's Theogony relates how Prometheus tricked Zeus into choosing the bones and fat of the first sacrificial animal rather than the meat to justify why, after a sacrifice, the Greeks offered the bones wrapped in fat to the gods while keeping the meat for themselves.

Medicine

In medicine, etiology refers to the many factors coming together to cause an illness. It is normally the focus of epidemiological studies. The etiology of scurvy is a good example. With scurvy, sailors going to sea often lacked fresh vegetables. Without knowing the precise cause, Captain James Cook suspected scurvy was caused by the lack of vegetables in the diet. Based on his suspicion, he forced his crew to eat sauerkraut, a cabbage preparation, every day, but he had no idea, precisely, why it prevented scurvy. It was only about two centuries later—in 1926 that it was discovered that it was the lack of vitamin C in a sailor's diet that was the base cause of scurvy.

See also

References

  1. ^ Aetiology. Oxford English Dictionary (2nd ed. ed.) (Oxford University Press). 2002.  

External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.