Causality and methodology. Notes on thanatochronological estimations

Giovanni Boniolo, Mirella Libero, Anna Aprile

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The authors propose some methodological considerations on thanatochronological estimations. They first consider the problem of the definition of death, and then they deal with the issue of the estimations of death time, that is, with the Post-Mortem Interval (PMI). As regards the first question, they note that it does not concern only the definition of death, but also the choice of a particular kind of definition of 'definition'. With reference to the second question, the authors suggest a causal model showing that the presence of many causal chains must be taken into consideration. Finally they discuss what 'most convenient and reliable causal chain' means for a thanatochronologist.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-393
Number of pages13
JournalHistory and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • Death
  • Forensic methodology
  • Post-Mortem Interval
  • Thanatochronological estimation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • History and Philosophy of Science
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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