lecture23 - Lecture 23 Mills Methods Patrick Maher...

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Unformatted text preview: Lecture 23 Mills Methods Patrick Maher Philosophy 102 Spring 2009 Introduction Mills methods are inductive methods for finding the cause of a phenomenon. They were described by John Stuart Mill, a 19th century English philosopher. There are five methods. Method of agreement If only one condition is common to every known occurrence of a phenomenon, then that condition is the cause of the phenomenon. Example Condition Occurrence A B C D E Phenomenon 1 *- * *- * 2 * * *- * * 3- * * *- * * means present; - means absent. Here the method of agreement says that C is the cause of the phenomenon. Method of difference If a phenomenon occurs when condition C is present and does not occur when C is absent, all other conditions being unchanged, then C is the cause of the phenomenon. Example Condition Occurrence A B C D E Phenomenon 1 *- * * * * 2 *- * *-- Here the method of difference says that E is the cause of the phenomenon. Joint method of agreement and difference The idea: If one application of the method of agreement suggests that C causes P , and another application suggests that C causes P , then C really does cause P . The method: If C is the only condition common to every known occurrence of P , and if C is the only condition common to every known occurrence of P , then C is the cause of P . The point: The second application helps rule out the possibility that some overlooked factor is really the cause of P . Example Condition Occurrence A B C D E Phenomenon 1 *- * *- * 2 * * *- * * 3- * * *- * 4 * *- *-- 5- *-- *- 6 *-- *-- Here the joint method says that C is the cause of the phenomenon. Exercise...
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This note was uploaded on 04/13/2009 for the course PHIL 102 taught by Professor Weinberg during the Spring '08 term at University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.

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lecture23 - Lecture 23 Mills Methods Patrick Maher...

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