Yafeng Shan
University of Kent
Jon Williamson
University of Kent
Evidential Pluralism maintains that in order to establish a causal claim one normally needs to establish the existence of an appropriate conditional correlation and the existence of an appropriate mechanism complex, so when assessing a causal claim one ought to consider both association studies and mechanistic studies. Hitherto, Evidential Pluralism has been applied to medicine, leading to the EBM+ programme, which recommends that evidence-based medicine should systematically evaluate mechanistic studies alongside clinical studies. This paper argues that Evidential Pluralism can also be fruitfully applied to the social sciences. In particular, Evidential Pluralism provides (i) a new approach to evidence-based policy; (ii) an account of the evidential relationships in more theoretical research; and (iii) new philosophical motivation for mixed methods research. The application of Evidential Pluralism to the social sciences is also defended against two objections.
Keywords Evidential Pluralism  causality  evidence  correlation  mechanism  social science
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Reprint years 2021
DOI 10.1007/s13194-021-00415-z
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References found in this work BETA

Thinking About Mechanisms.Peter Machamer, Lindley Darden & Carl F. Craver - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-25.
The Direction of Time.Hans Reichenbach - 1956 - Dover Publications.
Causality and Explanation.Wesley C. Salmon - 1997 - Oxford University Press.
What is a Mechanism? Thinking About Mechanisms Across the Sciences.Phyllis Illari & Jon Williamson - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (1):119-135.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Feasibility and Malleability of EBM+.Jon Williamson - 2021 - Theoria. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science 36 (2):191-209.
On Laws of Politics and How to Establish Them.Erik Weber - forthcoming - PS: Political Science and Politics.

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