Social mechanisms and causal inference

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 34 (1):55-78 (2004)
Abstract
Several authors have claimed that mechanisms play a vital role in distinguishing between causation and mere correlation in the social sciences. Such claims are sometimes interpreted to mean that without mechanisms, causal inference in social science is impossible. The author agrees with critics of this proposition but explains how the account of how mechanisms aid causal inference can be interpreted in a way that does not depend on it. Nevertheless, he shows that this more charitable version of the account is still unsuccessful as it stands. Consequently, he advances a proposal for shoring up the account, which is founded on the possibility of acquiring knowledge of social mechanisms by linking together norms or practices found in a society. Key Words: causality • social mechanisms • interpretation • anthropology.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 11,727
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA
Erik Weber (2009). How Probabilistic Causation Can Account for the Use of Mechanistic Evidence. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 23 (3):277-295.
Phyllis McKay Illari (2011). Mechanistic Evidence: Disambiguating the Russo–Williamson Thesis. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 25 (2):139 - 157.
Frank Hindriks (2013). Explanation, Understanding, and Unrealistic Models. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (3):523-531.

View all 6 citations

Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

40 ( #44,849 of 1,099,536 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #300,754 of 1,099,536 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.