PHIL 12 Lecture 10: Mill’s Methods and the RCT
Premium

3 Pages
31 Views
Unlock Document

Department
Philosophy
Course
PHIL 12
Professor
Kerry Mc Kenzie
Semester
Spring

Description
PHIL 12 – Lecture 10 – Mill’s Methods and the RCT Assignment due Monday Read chapters 17, 18, 19 Mill’s Methods • Five different methods for inferring causes from a set of phenomena o Method of agreement o Method of difference o Joint method of agreement and difference o Method of concomitant variation o Method of residues ▪ We won’t study this one The Method of Agreement • Ex: Sickness among people on a plane who ate omelette • Ex: Sickness among those who ate oysters • Ex: At least 50 cases of ‘big-head disease’ after babies drank nutritionally defective milk powder • Line out all the potential factors/antecedent circumstances, find out what everything has in common, and that common thing is the cause o Casual argument • Certain plausibility and reflects certain inferential practices that we do engage in • Not foolproof, not mechanical o Features of inductive argument • Ex: I want to locate the cause of strange headaches, sickness, etc., that affects me every morning o List all the things I drank the night before ▪ Different spirits each night along with coke • Method of Agreement would say that the coke was the culprit • Indefinite number of antecedent circumstances, can have more than one thing in common • We need to know what is relevant, to sense what relevant type of cause might be at work • Ex: A remote community receives a shot of a new flu vaccine. Nobody gets the flu o Would it be safe to infer that the vaccine is effective at preventing the flu? ▪ Maybe the flu doesn’t go there ▪ It’s a remote community ▪ In order to infer it, you need to have a control group of people who didn’t receive the vaccine and see if they also do not get the flu o What would be a better method? ▪ Only immunize a subset of them ▪ If some people do develop the flu who have been vaccinated, then maybe it doesn’t work/vice versa The Method of Difference • Ex: Of two twin siblings in a remote community, one eats the flu shot and the other doesn’t. The one who doesn’t get the shot gets the flu, and not the other one • In an instance in which the circumstance occurs and one that it does not occur have everything in common except one thing, that one thing is the cause of the phenomenon • Ex: Of a couple who eat the same food for the starter and the main, only the one who also ate the desert got sick • Ex: Of a pair of twins, only the one exposed to an educational intervention did well on the SAT • Ex: Of a pair of cloned mice, only the one exposed to caffeine displayed high levels of anxiety • Method is better than the method of agreement as it gets closer to the idea of causes as difference-makers o Ex: Hangover example • Limitations present in the method of agreement are still present in this method o Need for prior judgements of relevance/prior idea of putative cause ▪ May not be obvious • Ex: Handling of animals o Animal being tested in the experimental group has been handled more, and this may be contributing to the effect o Male mice act differently when handled by male handlers than female handlers • Two situations will be the same in relevant respects only relative to some level of description o Ex: The couple who got sick at dinner; maybe one of them likes ketchup with their meal, and the other doesn’t • We need to be able to
More Less

Related notes for PHIL 12

Log In


OR

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


OR

By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.


Submit