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Analyse & Kritik

Journal of Philosophy and Social Theory

Ed. by Baurmann, Michael / Leist, Anton / Tranow, Ulf

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Volume 38, Issue 1


A Methodological Outlook on Causal Identification and Empirical Methods for the Analysis of Social Mechanism

Dominik Becker
Published Online: 2016-05-18 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/auk-2016-0113


The debate on empirical tests of social mechanisms suffers from a fragmented view on the relative benefit of the empirical method a researcher considers to be superior, compared to the flaws of all other methods. In this outlook. I argue that disciplinary barriers might be surmounted by a common methodological perspective on the analysis of social mechanisms. First, experimental, quantitative, qualitative, and simulation methods (agent-based modeling) are all required, but also capable to deal with the issue of causal identification, respectively. Second, having established causal identification (among which I subsume strategies to deal with causal heterogeneity). each method disposes of genuine techniques to deal with the most crucial property of mechanism-based explanations: input-mechanism-output (IMO) relations.

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Published Online: 2016-05-18

Published in Print: 2016-05-01

Citation Information: Analyse & Kritik, Volume 38, Issue 1, Pages 287–308, ISSN (Online) 2365-9858, ISSN (Print) 0171-5860, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/auk-2016-0113.

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© 2016 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston.Get Permission

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