The etiology of a disease can be described as the cause of a disease. The word is part of the medical jargon. We speak of an idiopathic etiology as the cause is unknown.
Literature, folklore, anthropology
The etiology of the use of folklore and ethnology tries to give explanations for that use. Thus, from myth to assume that they related to primary emotions, natural, sociological and / or psychological symptoms. The myth of the grain goddess that half of the year in the underground to spend, constitutes one explanation for the cycle of seasons.
Many people try to create stories to explain a phenomenon: the Tangkuban Perahu, a mountain on Java, "is actually" a huge upside down canoe - hence the name. A constellation "is created" by the gods a man or an object in space have thrown. It is in fact an opportunity statements: the Tangkuban Perahu has indeed the shape of an inverted canoe.