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Rosa W. Runhardt
Leiden University
  1.  45
    Evidence for Causal Mechanisms in Social Science: Recommendations From Woodward’s Manipulability Theory of Causation.Rosa W. Runhardt - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (5):1296-1307.
    In a backlash against the prevalence of statistical methods, recently social scientists have focused more on studying causal mechanisms. They increasingly rely on a technique called process-tracing, which involves contrasting the observable implications of several alternative mechanisms. Problematically, process-tracers do not commit to a fundamental notion of causation, and therefore arguably they cannot discern between mere correlation between the links of their purported mechanisms and genuine causation. In this paper, I argue that committing to Woodward's interventionist notion of causation would (...)
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  2.  6
    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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  3.  4
    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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  4.  10
    Reactivity in measuring depression.Rosa W. Runhardt - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (3):1-22.
    If a human subject knows they are being measured, this knowledge may affect their attitudes and behaviour to such an extent that it affects the measurement results as well. This broad range of effects is shared under the term ‘reactivity’. Although reactivity is often seen by methodologists as a problem to overcome, in this paper I argue that some quite extreme reactive changes may be legitimate, as long as we are measuring phenomena that are not simple biological regularities. Legitimate reactivity (...)
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  5.  31
    Causal Comparability, Causal Generalizations, and Epistemic Homogeneity.Rosa W. Runhardt - 2017 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 47 (3):183-208.
    The issue of causal comparability in the social sciences underlies matters of both generalization and extrapolation. After critiquing two existing interpretations of comparability, due to Hitchcock and Hausman, I propose a distinction between ontological and epistemic comparability. While the former refers to whether two cases are actually comparable, the latter respects that in cases of incomplete information, we need to rely on whatever evidence we have of comparability. I argue, using a political science case study, that in those cases of (...)
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  6.  26
    Causal Mechanisms in Political Science: Andrew Bennett and Jeffrey T. Checkel : Process Tracing: From Metaphor to Analytic Tool. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015, 342pp, $36.99 PB, $99.00 HB.Rosa W. Runhardt - 2015 - Metascience 24 (3):453-456.
    Philosophers of social science have emphasized mechanistic approaches to causal inquiry for some time now, showing why focusing on the mechanisms behind correlations is preferable to focusing on correlations alone (cf. Johnson 2006, Little 1991, Reiss 2007, 2009, Steel 2004, see also King, Keohane, and Verba 1994 for an example of purely correlational research). In Process Tracing: from Metaphor to Analytic Tool, political scientists Andrew Bennett and Jeffrey Checkel present a concrete method for finding evidence of causal mechanisms, process tracing. (...)
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  7.  16
    A New Take on Causal Mechanisms in Social Contexts: Manipulability Theory’s Demands for Mechanistic Reasoning.Rosa W. Runhardt - manuscript
    In this paper, I investigate the study of causal mechanisms in the social sciences. I argue that unless one adopts a clear notion of causation, such as Woodward's manipulability theory of causation, one does not find evidence for causal claims. I show that adopting Woodward’s theory entails that a researcher must take into account both the observable implications of the mechanisms, and possible interventions on those mechanisms. In a backlash against the pervasiveness of statistical methods, in the last decade or (...)
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