The article discusses a distinction between factual and modal notions, and corresponding generalizations, in social research. The discussion starts from the suggestion, made by Charles Ragin, that theoretical statements in social research most often can be formulated as statements about sets of cases and relations between such sets. In contrast to this view, it is argued that theoretical statements in social research often require modal notions referring to possibilities and probabilities which cannot be formulated as statements about sets of cases. In order to show this, the article reformulates Ragin’s set-theoretic approach in the conceptual framework of statistical variables. It is shown that this can be done for both crisp and fuzzy set versions of Ragin’s approach. The article then goes on to argue that social research is often interested in modal generalizations (probabilistic and deterministic rules) which require a fundamentally different conceptual framework. The article shows how such a framework can be defined, and finally indicates its usage for causal interpretations.
Quality & Quantity – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 2, 2012
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera