Department of Political Science

Evidential pluralism and evidence of mechanisms in the social sciences

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Evidential pluralism and evidence of mechanisms in the social sciences. / Beach, Derek.

In: Synthese, Vol. 199, No. 3-4, 12.2021, p. 8899-8919.

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Beach, Derek. / Evidential pluralism and evidence of mechanisms in the social sciences. In: Synthese. 2021 ; Vol. 199, No. 3-4. pp. 8899-8919.

Bibtex

@article{de6649e50e6c46adb160eeb05a2a4843,
title = "Evidential pluralism and evidence of mechanisms in the social sciences",
abstract = "Is evidential pluralism possible when we move to the social sciences, and if so, to what degree? What are the analytical benefits? The answer put forward in this article is that there is a tradeoff between how serious social science methodologies take the study of mechanisms and the analytical benefits that flow from evidential pluralism. In the social sciences, there are a range of different approaches to studying mechanisms, differentiated by 1) the degree to which the {\textquoteleft}process{\textquoteright} is unpacked theoretically, and 2) whether the approach takes seriously the particular nature of social phenomena and the epistemological consequences that flow from this, as in realist approaches to the study of mechanisms, or whether more neopositivist -based foundational assumptions are adopted. Depending on which approach to study mechanisms is used, evidential pluralism is either: easy but superficial, very productive but challenging, or almost impossible because of the fundamental differences between the types of claims being made and the forms of evidence used.",
keywords = "Counterfactuals, Critical realism, Evidence of causal effects, Evidence of mechanisms, Evidential pluralism, Experience-near evidence, Mediation analysis, Process-tracing",
author = "Derek Beach",
year = "2021",
month = dec,
doi = "10.1007/s11229-021-03187-4",
language = "English",
volume = "199",
pages = "8899--8919",
journal = "Synthese",
issn = "0039-7857",
publisher = "Springer",
number = "3-4",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Evidential pluralism and evidence of mechanisms in the social sciences

AU - Beach, Derek

PY - 2021/12

Y1 - 2021/12

N2 - Is evidential pluralism possible when we move to the social sciences, and if so, to what degree? What are the analytical benefits? The answer put forward in this article is that there is a tradeoff between how serious social science methodologies take the study of mechanisms and the analytical benefits that flow from evidential pluralism. In the social sciences, there are a range of different approaches to studying mechanisms, differentiated by 1) the degree to which the ‘process’ is unpacked theoretically, and 2) whether the approach takes seriously the particular nature of social phenomena and the epistemological consequences that flow from this, as in realist approaches to the study of mechanisms, or whether more neopositivist -based foundational assumptions are adopted. Depending on which approach to study mechanisms is used, evidential pluralism is either: easy but superficial, very productive but challenging, or almost impossible because of the fundamental differences between the types of claims being made and the forms of evidence used.

AB - Is evidential pluralism possible when we move to the social sciences, and if so, to what degree? What are the analytical benefits? The answer put forward in this article is that there is a tradeoff between how serious social science methodologies take the study of mechanisms and the analytical benefits that flow from evidential pluralism. In the social sciences, there are a range of different approaches to studying mechanisms, differentiated by 1) the degree to which the ‘process’ is unpacked theoretically, and 2) whether the approach takes seriously the particular nature of social phenomena and the epistemological consequences that flow from this, as in realist approaches to the study of mechanisms, or whether more neopositivist -based foundational assumptions are adopted. Depending on which approach to study mechanisms is used, evidential pluralism is either: easy but superficial, very productive but challenging, or almost impossible because of the fundamental differences between the types of claims being made and the forms of evidence used.

KW - Counterfactuals

KW - Critical realism

KW - Evidence of causal effects

KW - Evidence of mechanisms

KW - Evidential pluralism

KW - Experience-near evidence

KW - Mediation analysis

KW - Process-tracing

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85106215449&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s11229-021-03187-4

DO - 10.1007/s11229-021-03187-4

M3 - Journal article

VL - 199

SP - 8899

EP - 8919

JO - Synthese

JF - Synthese

SN - 0039-7857

IS - 3-4

ER -