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  1. Case study research in the social sciences.Petri Ylikoski & Julie Zahle - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 78 (C):1-4.
    In this paper, we offer an introduction to case study research in the social sciences. We begin with a discussion of the definition of case study research. Next, we point to various purposes that case study research may serve in the social sciences and then turn to outline the main philosophical issues raised by case study research. Finally, we briefly present the papers in this special issue.
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  • Mechanism-based theorizing and generalization from case studies.Petri Ylikoski - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 78 (C):14-22.
    Generalization from a case study is a perennial issue in the methodology of the social sciences. The case study is one of the most important research designs in many social scientific fields, but no shared understanding exists of the epistemic import of case studies. This article suggests that the idea of mechanism-based theorizing provides a fruitful basis for understanding how case studies contribute to a general understanding of social phenomena. This approach is illustrated with a re- construction of Espeland and (...)
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  • Limits to evidential pluralism: multi-method large-N qualitative analysis and the primacy of mechanistic studies.Rosa W. Runhardt - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-23.
    Evidential pluralists, like Federica Russo and Jon Williamson, argue that causal claims should be corroborated by establishing both the existence of a suitable correlation and a suitable mechanism complex. At first glance, this fits well with mixed method research in the social sciences, which often involves a pluralist combination of statistical and mechanistic evidence. However, statistical evidence concerns a population of cases, while mechanistic evidence is found in individual case studies. How should researchers combine such general statistical evidence and specific (...)
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  • Evidential Pluralism and Epistemic Reliability in Political Science: Deciphering Contradictions between Process Tracing Methodologies.Rosa W. Runhardt - 2021 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 51 (4):425-442.
    Evidential pluralism has been used to justify mixed-method research in political science. The combination of methodologies within case study analysis, however, has not received as much attention. This article applies the theory of evidential pluralism to causal inference in the case study method process tracing. I argue that different methodologies for process tracing commit to distinct fundamental theories of causation. I show that, problematically, one methodology may not recognize as genuine knowledge the fundamental claims of the other. By evaluating the (...)
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  • Metaphilosophy and Argument: The Case of the Justification of Abduction.Paula Olmos - 2021 - Informal Logic 41 (2):131-164.
    This paper is an essay on metaphilosophy that reviews, describes, categorises, and discusses different ways philosophers have approached the justification of abduction as a mode of reasoning and arguing. Advocating an argumentative approach to abduction, I model the philosophical debate over its justification as the critical assessment of a warrant-establishing argument allowing “H explains D” to be used as a reason for “H can be inferred from D.” Philosophers have discussed the conditions under which such kind of generic argument can (...)
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  • Revisiting Accounts of Narrative Explanation in the Sciences: Some Clarifications from Contemporary Argumentation Theory.Paula Olmos - 2020 - Argumentation 34 (4):449-465.
    The topic of the presence, legitimacy and epistemic worth of narrative explanations in different kinds of scientific discourse has already enjoyed several revivals within related discussions in contemporary philosophy of science. In fact, we have recently witnessed a more extensive, more unprejudiced and ambitious attention to narrative modes of making science. I think we need a systematic theoretical framework in order to categorize these different functions of narratives and understand their role in scientific explanatory and justificatory practice. My claim is (...)
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  • Narrative ordering and explanation.Mary S. Morgan - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 62:86-97.
  • ‘If p? Then What?’ Thinking within, with, and from cases.Mary S. Morgan - 2020 - History of the Human Sciences 33 (3-4):198-217.
    The provocative paper by John Forrester ‘If p, Then What? Thinking in Cases’ opened up the question of case thinking as a separate mode of reasoning in the sciences. Case-based reasoning is certainly endemic across a number of sciences, but it has looked different according to where it has been found. This article investigates this mode of science – namely thinking in cases – by questioning the different interpretations of ‘If p?’ and exploring the different interpretative responses of what follows (...)
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  • Exemplification and the use-values of cases and case studies.Mary S. Morgan - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 78 (C):5-13.
  • Types of experiments and causal process tracing: What happened on the Kaibab Plateau in the 1920s.Roberta L. Millstein - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 78:98-104.
    In a well-cited book chapter, ecologist Jared Diamond characterizes three main types of experiment performed in community ecology: laboratory experiment, field experiment, and natural experiment. Diamond argues that each form of experiment has strengths and weaknesses, with respect to, for example, realism or the ability to follow a causal trajectory. But does Diamond’s typology exhaust the available kinds of cause-finding practices? Some social scientists have characterized something they call “causal process tracing.” Is this a fourth type of experiment or something (...)
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  • Political science methodology: A plea for pluralism.Sharon Crasnow - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 78 (C):40-47.
    Case study research was once the primary methodology of research in political science. The shift to other methodologies in recent decades suggests has led to a devaluing of these approaches. This article explores six roles for case studies in the social sciences and argues that an understanding of the multiple aims of research supports a methodological pluralism that includes case study research.
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