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Single case causes : what is evidence and why.

Cartwright, N. (2016) 'Single case causes : what is evidence and why.', in Philosophy of science in practice : Nancy Cartwright and the nature of scientific reasoning. Cham: Springer, pp. 11-24. Synthese library : studies in epistemology, logic, methodology, and philosophy of science. (379).


How do we establish singular causal claims? It seems we do this all the time, from courtrooms to cloud chambers. Nevertheless, there is a strong lobby in the evidence-based medicine and policy movements that argues that we cannot make reliable causal judgments about single cases in these areas. So we cannot tell whether a policy or treatment ‘worked’ for any specific individual. This paper argues the contrary. It provides a catalogue of evidence types that can support singular causal claims, and it develops a theoretical framework that shows that these types are evidence for causation in the single case.

Item Type:Book chapter
Additional Information:Also Durham University: CHESS Working Paper No. 2015-02.
Full text:Publisher-imposed embargo
(AM) Accepted Manuscript
File format - PDF (Copyright agreement prohibits open access to the full-text)
Publisher Web site:
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:13 July 2017
Date of first online publication:28 December 2016
Date first made open access:No date available

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