Social determinants of health

Sridhar Venkatapuram*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter discusses social determinants of health, an area of research and health policy initially coming out of epidemiology. Two categories of philosophical issues are presented including epistemological issues related to casual explanations as well as ethical issues related to health inequalities and social justice. In pursuing better explanations of causation and distribution of disease, social epidemiology expands the scope of causal chain outward beyond factors on or within the body as well as upward in terms of nested spaces such as family, neighborhood, region, country, and global system. New thinking about the ethical value of health and well-being and the causal role of social factors in producing inequalities in health raise questions of social justice and require drawing on disciplines such as political philosophy that evaluate conceptions of a good or just society.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of the Philosophy of Medicine
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9789401786881
ISBN (Print)9789401786874
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Europe
  • Harness
  • Income
  • Kelly
  • Obesity


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