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Assessing the role of evidence of mechanisms in causal extrapolation

Pérez-González, Saúl and Iranzo, Valeriano (2021) Assessing the role of evidence of mechanisms in causal extrapolation. THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, 36 (2). pp. 211-228. ISSN 2171-679X

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Abstract

Extrapolation of causal claims from study populations to other populations of interest is a problematic issue. The standard approach in experimental research, which prioritises randomized controlled trials and statistical evidence, is not devoid of difficulties. Granted that, it has been defended that evidence of mechanisms is indispensable for causal extrapolation. We argue, contrarily, that this sort of evidence is not indispensable. Nonetheless, we also think that occasionally it may be helpful. In order to clarify its relevance, we introduce a distinction between a positive and a negative role of evidence of mechanisms. Our conclusion is that the former is highly questionable, but the latter may be a trustworthy resource for causal extrapolation.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Pérez-González, Saúlsaul.perez@uv.es0000-0001-9594-9558
Iranzo, Valerianoiranzov@uv.es0000-0001-6432-9284
Additional Information: ISSN: 0495-4548 (print)
Keywords: Extrapolation, evidence of mechanisms, statistical evidence, mechanism, causality, evidence, external validity, randomized controlled trial.
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Evidence
General Issues > Experimentation
Depositing User: Unnamed user with email theoria@ehu.es
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2021 14:14
Last Modified: 03 Jun 2021 14:14
Item ID: 19139
Journal or Publication Title: THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science
Publisher: Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea / Universidad del País Vasco
Official URL: https://ojs.ehu.eus/index.php/THEORIA/article/view...
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1387/theoria.21642
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Evidence
General Issues > Experimentation
Date: May 2021
Page Range: pp. 211-228
Volume: 36
Number: 2
ISSN: 2171-679X
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/19139

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