Khan, Haider (2008): Causal Depth contra Humean Empiricism: Aspects of a Scientific Realist Approach to Explanation.
Download (137Kb) | Preview
The purpose of this note is to clarify how the idea of "causal depth" can play a role in finding the more "approximately true" explanation through causal comparisons. It is not an exhaustive treatment but rather focuses on a few aspects that may be the most critical in evaluating the explanatory strengths of a theory in the social sciences. It presents a general argument which is anti-Humean on the critical side and scientific realist on the positive side. It also elucidates how explanations in political economy and other social sciences can be judged by the scientific realist criterion of causal depth by an extensive example from research in the political economy of development. In this case, an "intentional" and methodologically individualist neoclassical explanation is contrasted with a "structural" dual-dual approach as rival theories purporting to explain the same set of phenomena. The formal model representing the dual-dual approach can easily be contrasted with its neoclassical counterpart. The comparison shows that the dual-dual model is indeed deeper in terms of causal structure than the neoclassical model
|Item Type:||MPRA Paper|
|Original Title:||Causal Depth contra Humean Empiricism: Aspects of a Scientific Realist Approach to Explanation|
|English Title:||Causal Depth contra Humean Empiricism: Aspects of a Scientific Realist Approach to Explanation|
|Keywords:||Economic Models, Social Explanation,Causal Depth, Scientific Realism, Political Economy, Neoclassical Economics, Structuralism, Social Science Theories|
|Subjects:||O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O11 - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
C - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods > C6 - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling > C68 - Computable General Equilibrium Models
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O17 - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
A - General Economics and Teaching > A1 - General Economics > A10 - General
B - History of Economic Thought, Methodology, and Heterodox Approaches > B4 - Economic Methodology > B41 - Economic Methodology
|Depositing User:||Haider Khan|
|Date Deposited:||18. Apr 2008 05:55|
|Last Modified:||16. Feb 2013 01:41|
Barrett, Paul H., Gautrey, Peter J., Herbert, Sandra, Kohn, David and Smith, Sydney (eds) (1987) Charles Darwin’s Notebooks, 1836–1844: Geology, Transmutation of Species, Metaphysical Enquiries, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Bhaskar, Roy (1975) A Realist Theory of Science, 1st edn, Leeds: Leeds Books.
Boyd, Richard N. (1973) "Realism, Underdetermination, and a Causal Theory of Evidence," Nous, pp . 1-12. -------------------(1992) "Constructivism, Realism, and Philosophical Method," in J. Earman, ed. Inference, Explanation, and Other Philosophical Frustrations. Berkeley: University of California Press. Darwin, Charles R. (1859) On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, 1st edn, London: Murray. Darwin, Charles R. (1871) The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, 1st edn, 2 vols, London: Murray and New York: Hill. Darwin, Charles R. (1883) The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication, 2 vols., 2nd edn, London and New York: Murray and Appleton.
Dennett, Daniel C. (1995) Darwin’s Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life, London: Allen Lane. Dewey, John (1910) The Influence of Darwin on Philosophy and Other Essays in Contemporary Philosophy, New York: Holt. Harman, Gilbert(1 965). "The Inference to the Best Explanation," Philosophical Review pp. 88-95
Hodgson, Geoffrey M. (2001) ‘Darwin, Veblen and the problem of causality in economics’, History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 23: 383–422. Hodgson, Geoffrey M. (2002) ‘Darwinism in Economics: from analogy to ontology’, Journal of Evolutionary Economics 12(2): 259–81. Hodgson, Geoffrey M. (2003) ‘The mystery of the routine: the Darwinian destiny of An Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change’, Revue Économique 54(2): 355–84. Hodgson, Geoffrey M. (2004) The Evolution of Institutional Economics: Agency, Structure and Darwinism in American Institutionalism, London and New York: Routledge. Huxley, Thomas Henry (1894) Collected Essays, London: Macmillan. .Khan, H. A.(2006). "Poverty Analysis in a Dual-Dual Model" in J. Weiss and H.A. Khan (eds.) Poverty Strategies in Asia, Edward Elgar. _____ (2004a). “Using Macroeconomic CGE Models for Analyzing the Poverty Reduction Impact of Structural Adjustment Policies”, Asian Development Bank Institute Discussion Paper No. 12, Tokyo. -------- (2004b). “Globalization: Challenges and Opportunities”, Review of International Business Research, Vol. 15: 276-91. -------- (1999). “Sectoral Growth and Poverty: a multiplier decomposition analysis for South Africa, World Development, March. -------- (1997). Technology, Energy and Development: The South Korean Transition, Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar -------- (1994). "Poverty in Bangladesh: What Have We Learned?" in Bangladesh Economy, The University Press, Dhaka -------- (1985). "Technology Choice in the Energy and Textile Sectors in the Republic of Korea," in A.S. Bhalla (ed.) Technology and Employment in Industry, 3rd edition ----- (1983). “Choice of Technology, Energy and Income Distribution: A Macroeconomic Framework”, unpublished dissertation, Cornell University ------ (1982a). "Energy, Technology and Income Distribution: A Social Accounting Matrix for Energy Modelling," Applied Simulation and Modelling, Calgary, Canada, ACTA ------ (1982b). “Choice of Technology in the Energy and Textiles Sectors in Korea”, World Employment Programme Working Paper, Geneva: ILO ----- and E. Thorbecke(1988) Macroeconomic Effects and Diffusion of Alternative Technologies within a Social Accounting Matrix Framework: the Case of Indonesia, Gower Publication, Co., Aldershot, U.K. ------ (1989). "Macroeconomic Effects of Technology Choice: Multiplier and Structural Path Analysis," Journal of Policy Modelling, Vol. 11, No. 1 Kingdon, G., J. Sandefur and F. Teal (2005). “Labour market flexibility, wages and incomes in sub-Saharan Africa in the 1990s”, Center for the Study of African Economies, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, UK. Knudsen, Thorbjørn (2004) ‘General selection theory and economic evolution: the price equation and the genotype/phenotype distinction’, Journal of Economic Methodology 11(2): 147–173. Lawson, Tony (1997) Economics and Reality, London: Routledge. Lewis, W. Arthur (1954). “Economic Development with Unlimited Supplies of Labor”, The Manchester School.
Mayr, Ernst (1964) ‘Introduction’, in facsimile of the first edition of Darwin, Charles R. (1859) On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, London: Murray, pp. vii–xxvii. Mayr, Ernst (1988) Toward a New Philosophy of Biology: Observations of an Evolutionist, Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press. Mayr, Ernst (1992) One Long Argument: Charles Darwin and the Genesis of Modern Evolutionary Thought, London: Allen Lane. Miller, R.(1987), Fact and Method, Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Pyatt, Graham and E. Thorbecke (1976). Planning Techniques for a Better Future, Geneva: ILO Ray, Debraj(1997) Development Economics, Princeton: Princeton University Press. Romanes, George John (1883) Mental Evolution in Animals, London: Kegan Paul, Trench. Romanes, George John (1893) Darwin and After Darwin: An Exposition of the Darwinian Theory and a Discussion of Post-Darwinian Questions, vol. 1, 2nd edn, London: Longmans, Green. Salmon, Wesley C. (1998) Causality and Explanation, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Sen, Amartya (1999). Development as Freedom, Knopf, N.Y. Sosa, Ernest and Tooley, Michael (eds) (1993) Causation, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Stifel, David and E. Thorbecke (2003). "A dual-dual CGE Model for a Stylized Archetype African Economy", Journal of Policy Modelling, Vol. 25: 207-235. Svejnar J. and E. Thorbecke (1980). Determinants and Effects of Technology Choice. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, San Francisco. --------- (1982). The Determinants and Effects of Technology Choices. In Barbara Lucas (ed.) Internal and External Constraints on Technology Choice in Developing Countries, London: Tooley-Bowker Thorbecke, E. (1992). Adjustment and equity in Indonesia, OECD Development Centre, Paris. --------- (1994)."Adjustment, Growth and Income Distribution in Indonesia." In: D.B. Papadimitriou (ed.) Aspects of Distribution of Wealth and Income, The Jerome Levy Economics Institute Series, New York: St. Martin's Press, Thorbecke, E., and C. Morrisson (1989). “Institutions, Policies and Agricultural Performance.” World Development, September. Thorbecke, E. and Carlos E. Santiago (1984). Regional and Technological Dualism: A Dual-Dual Development Framework Applied to Puerto Rico, The Journal of Development Studies, Vol. 20, No. 4, July UNCTAD (2006). The Least Developed Countries Report: Developing Productive Capacities, Geneva and New York Wendt, Alexander (1998) “On constitution and causation in international relations,” Review of International Studies, 24, special issue, 101-17. Wendt, Alexander (1999) Social Theory of International Politics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Wendt, Alexander (2000) “On the via media: a response to the critics,” Review of International Studies, 26, 165-180. Wendt, Alexander (2001) “Driving with the rearview mirror: On the rational science of institutional design,” International Organization, 55(4), 1019-1049. Wilson, Robert A.( 1994) Causal Depth, Theoretical Appropriateness, and Individualism in Psychology, Philosophy of Science, Vol. 61, No. 1 (March), pp. 55-75