Chapter 5 (Causal Claims)
Claims an author makes can be classified as casual claims. Such claims argue that certain
events or factors (causes) are responsible for bringing about other events or
situations (effects). Such cause and effect relationships are the basis for decision making
Examine carefully the causal claims of authors and analyse whether or not they are
describing a genuine cause-effect relationship. Think of plausible rival causal
explanations that can account for the effects f the same event.
Types of rival causes
1. Differences between group
2. Correlation between characteristics
3. Post hoc (after this) ergo (therefore) porter hoc (because of this) fallacy
Differences between groups
This occurs whenever an author says that an outcome is caused by a specific difference
Whenever an author presents a differences between groups causal claim, we must ask
ourselves if there is any other differences between these groups that may be relevant? If
there are any other such differences, we have a plausible rival cause.
In addition, it is possible that a combination of multiple factors is the true cause. Correlation between characteristics
Correlation between characteristics occurs when a correlation between two factors is used
to formulate a causal claim.
It is possible that the link the author used functions in reverse to the way the author
proposed it. This is known as reverse causation.
Sometimes there may be a strong correlation between two factors, while there is no
causal link between the two factors. The correlation between the two variab