We analyse the concept of causality in the social sciences, whose development is insufficient and lesser than the methodology developed for its study. The nature of the causal process as the production of effects remains unclear and the relationships considered to be manifestations of that process cannot be taken for proof of its existence. Given these difficulties, we suggest that, aside from the inherited interpretations, the practice of the concept of causality makes reference to correctly specified relationships not confounded by others; characteristics identical to those which define validity. In that way, causality is equivalent to the validity of a relationship. Beyond merely re-understanding causality, this proposal permits the deduction that the temporal precedence of the cause is a necessary condition only for one type of causality, making it possible to consider other types, not admitted by the traditional notion, in which the cause is consequent or simultaneous to the variable to be explained. Examples and characteristics of these types of causality are presented and considered to be useful for the social sciences.
Quality & Quantity – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 16, 2006
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