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Russo Epsa2009 Variation
 

Russo Epsa2009 Variation

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    Russo Epsa2009 Variation Russo Epsa2009 Variation Presentation Transcript

    • The rationale of variation in methodological and evidential pluralism Federica Russo Philosophy, Kent
    • Overview
      • This work:
        • Metaphysics, epistemology, methodology of causality
        • Domain; interest; objective
      • The question:
        • What rationale in building & testing causal models?
      • Methodological and evidential pluralism
      • Epistemological monism: the rationale of variation
        • A taste of methodological arguments:
        • Structural equations
        • A taste of possible objections:
        • Regularity; Invariance
    • Philosophy of causality
      • Metaphysics
        • What causality/cause is
      • Epistemology
        • How do we know about causal relations
      • Methodology
        • Develop/implement methods
        • for discovery/confirmation of causal relations
    • This work
      • Epistemology of causality
      • Domain
        • quantitative social science
      • Interest
        • causal reasoning in causal modelling
      • Objective
        • dig out a neglected notion
        • in the philosophy of causality: variation
    • The guiding question
      • When we reason about cause-effect
      • relations in causal modelling,
      • what notion guides this reasoning?
      • Regularity? Invariance? Production? ...
      • Hunting for a rationale
    • Rationale vs. definition
      • Rationale:
        • a principle/notion/concept underlying
        • decision/reasoning/modelling
      • Definition:
        • A description of a thing by means
        • of its properties or if its function
      • Here:
        • hunt for the notion underlying model building
        • and model testing: rationale, not definition
    • Methodological pluralism
      • Structural equation models
      • Covariance structure models
      • Multilevel models
      • Contingency tables
    • Evidential pluralism
      • Causal modelling uses
      • multi-fold evidence / information
        • Data
          • Surveys, censuses, experiments, interviews, …
        • Evidence of established causal relations
          • Previous studies, background knowledge,
          • known mechanisms and probabilistic relations, …
    • Do methodological and evidential pluralism entail epistemological pluralism?
    • Causal modelling is regimented by a single rationale in model building and testing: the rationale of variation
    • Arguments
      • Empirical:
        • Look at informal reasoning in case studies
      • Methodological:
        • Look at rationale of model building & testing
        • in various causal models
      • Philosophical:
        • Look at arguments given by other philosophers
      • Foundational:
        • Look at forefathers of causal modelling
      • Compatibility:
        • Look at various established philosophical accounts
    • A taste of methodological arguments
      • Consider a structural equation
      • Y =  X+ 
        • Variations in X accompany  -unit variations in Y
        • Are those variations chancy or causal?
          • hypothesis testing; invariance; exogeneity
    • Therefore…
      • Variation is a pre condition
      • with respect to other notions
        • E.g.: regularity, invariance
      • Any role left to those? Yes – constraints :
        • Regularity: often enough
        • Invariance: stability of parameters
      • Rule out accidental and spurious variations,
      • Grant causal interpretation of variations
    • A taste of objections
      • Regularity
        • Mine is just a reformulation of regularity theory
          • Only partly true
        • Regularity is more basic.
          • Not quite: regularity of what?
      • Invariance
        • Invariance is more basic.
          • Not quite: invariance of what?
    • To sum up and conclude
      • Causal modelling in social sciences
        • Takes advantage of different methods
        • Uses multi-fold information and evidence
      • Does it follow that model building and model testing
      • are regimented by different rationales ?
      • No. Causal reasoning in all causal models are
      • built and tested according to the rationale of variation
      • Regularity and invariance are
      • constraints on the causal relation
    • Wanna know more?