Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Russo Epsa2009 Variation


Published on

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Russo Epsa2009 Variation

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