In Harold Kincaid (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Social Science. Oxford University Press. pp. 130-153 (2012)

Authors
Robert Northcott
Birkbeck, University of London
Abstract
Comparing different causes’ importance, and apportioning responsibility between them, requires making good sense of the notion of partial explanation, that is, of degree of explanation. How much is this subjective, how much objective? If the causes in question are probabilistic, how much is the outcome due to them and how much to simple chance? I formulate the notion of degree of causation, or effect size, relating it to influential recent work in the literature on causation. I examine to what extent mainstream social science methods--both quantitative and qualitative--succeed in establishing effect sizes so understood. The answer turns out to be, roughly: only to some extent. Next, the standard understanding of effect size, even though widespread, still has several underappreciated consequences. I detail some of those. Finally, I discuss the separate issue of explanandum-dependence, which is essential to assessing any cause’s explanatory importance and yet which has been comparatively neglected.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
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

Causality.Judea Pearl - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.
Making Things Happen. A Theory of Causal Explanation.Michael Strevens - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):233-249.
The Scientific Image.Michael Friedman - 1982 - Journal of Philosophy 79 (5):274-283.
The Scientific Image.William Demopoulos & Bas C. van Fraassen - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (4):603.

View all 25 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Degree of Explanation.Robert Northcott - 2012 - Synthese 190 (15):3087-3105.
Harm and Causation.Robert Northcott - 2015 - Utilitas 27 (2):147-164.
Conceived This Way: Innateness Defended.Northcott Robert - forthcoming - Philosophers Imprint.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Is Actual Difference Making Actually Different?Robert Northcott - 2009 - Journal of Philosophy 106 (11):629-633.
A Response To Michael Northcott.C. Deane-Drummond - 1994 - Studies in Christian Ethics 7 (1):46-51.
The "l'Art Pour l'Art" Problem.Arnold Hauser & Kenneth Northcott - 1979 - Critical Inquiry 5 (3):425-440.
Book Review: A Political Theology of Nature. [REVIEW]M. S. Northcott - 2004 - Studies in Christian Ethics 17 (3):76-80.
Being Silent: Time in the Spirit.Michael S. Northcott - 2004 - In Stanley Hauerwas & Samuel Wells (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Christian Ethics. Blackwell. pp. 414.
Causation and Contrast Classes.Robert Northcott - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 139 (1):111 - 123.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2011-10-24

Total views
160 ( #56,530 of 2,349,372 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
9 ( #72,212 of 2,349,372 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes