Causality in Sociological Research by Jakub Karpinski

By Jakub Karpinski

The common therapy of difficulties hooked up with the causal conditioning of phenomena has frequently been the area of philosophy, but if one examines the relationships happening within the quite a few fields, the examine of such conditionings belongs to the empirical sciences. Sociology is not any exception in that recognize. In that self-discipline we word a undeniable paradox. Many difficulties attached with the causal conditioning of phenomena were raised in sociology in rather contemporary occasions, and that method marked its empirical or perhaps so-called empiricist development. That pattern, labelled positivist, turns out as a result to be in contradiction with a definite form of positivism. these authors who describe positivism often contain the Humean culture in its family tree and, remembering Hume's feedback of the idea that of reason, talk about positivism as a few development that's susceptible to regard calmly the examine of factors and confines itself to the statements on co-occurrence of phenomena.

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En. Such a completed matrix (4) is an expanded matrix of coefficients. If one intends to present the sought relationships as a function of a definite type (as in the case of (3», then one has to assume that in a given domain it makes sense to carry out operations on numbers assigned to the magnitudes being measured. In the case of linear functions it must be assumed that it makes sense to add numbers assigned to the magnitudes being measured, and also to multiply a number by a constant. It must, therefore, be assumed that the variables XI' • • • , xn are measurable in the stricter sense of the word (on a ratio scale).

The result of such a transformation of Xi may be treated as a new variable: Xi = Xi - mi. In such a case in the linear equation the coefficients attached to the variables undergo a change. The equation which illustrates the dependence of a given variable upon the independent variables: (18) Xi = ailxt + ai2~ + ... + airj + ... + ai~m takes on the form: (19) Xi = cilXt + CiZ X 2 + ... + CiA + ... + ci"xn- The various variables can also be measured in standardized units 52 CHAPTER lIT (one must then assume that ai =F 0, which is to say that the variable Xi really takes on different values).

The panel method is one of the methods of reporting on the course of events in time. Such courses of events are called processes. To put it more precisely, in the present chapter the term process will be used to denote any ordering of events in time. Of course, processes defined in this way may be singled out better or worse, in a more or less natural manner. Some criteria of that naturality are specific to certain disciplines or areas of studies while the others are not specific and to a greater extent deserve to be termed methodological.

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