Causal Inference and Modeling

Authored by: Tuukka Kaidesoja

The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Social Science

Print publication date:  December  2016
Online publication date:  December  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138825758
eBook ISBN: 9781315410098
Adobe ISBN: 9781315410081


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One of the core challenges in all social sciences is to produce causal understanding of social phenomena. Despite its importance, there is no consensus about the best way to address this challenge in empirical social research. Rather, there have been various approaches to causal inference and causal modeling whose underlying assumptions are quite different. Although I focus here on sociology, because it is the discipline I know the best, many of the issues addressed are common to the other social sciences as well. This chapter then provides understanding of the basic issues and philosophical assumptions concerning how statistical and theoretical models are used in making causal inferences in sociological research.

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