Chapter

Causal explanation: Recursive decompositions and mechanisms

Michel Mouchart and Federica Russo

in Causality in the Sciences

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199574131
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191728921 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199574131.003.0015
Causal explanation: Recursive decompositions and mechanisms

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This chapter deals with causal explanation in quantitative‐oriented social sciences. In the framework of statistical modelling, we first develop a formal structural modelling approach which is meant to shape causal explanation. Recursive decomposition and exogeneity are given a major role for explaining social phenomena. Then, based on the main features of structural models, the recursive decomposition is interpreted as a mechanism and exogenous variables as causal factors. Arguments from statistical methodology are first offered and then submitted to critical evaluation.

Keywords: structural modelling; mechanism; recursive decomposition; exogeneity

Chapter.  9105 words. 

Subjects: Logic

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