IU Scientific Reasoning and Methods
The reasoning is comparative. It compares an actual presence and an actual absence. First, you need to identify two sets of factors or conditions. One set follows the other or it occurs at the same time, either way they are correlated. The second set includes the thing we want to explain: w.
The reasoning goes like this:
-If the set [A, B, C, D] is actually followed by or occurs along with the set [w, x, y, z]
-And, independently, the set [B, C, D] is actually followed by or occurs along with [x, y, z]
Then, the conclusion: the type of condition A is generally causally relevant to the type of condition was part of the cause, the full cause or the effect.
If, in particular, A precedes w, we consider w the effect.
If we want to explain a particular event of the type w, then we can conclude that its cause involved another event of the type A.
Now follow these prompts:
-Find an example of a complex situation, social or medical, that includes a kind of event whose particular or general occurrence you want to explain.
-Identify the two sets of conditions: the set of potential causal factors and the set of potential effects (including the one you want to explain)
-Identify the situation in which we can keep fixed or constant all the potential causal conditions except one, such that the alleged effect of interest doesn’t occur either. What makes the situation of absence available so that the we can make the relevant comparison?
-Apply the reasoning and present the conclusion.
-How can the conclusion be challenged? What could you have gotten wrong or missed?