Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Conditions, Necessary and Sufficient
Social science, as all science, is a continuous quest for an explanation and understanding of the world around us. This search is carried out through Benjamin Most and Harvey Starr's “research triad” of theory, logic, and research design, all of which are central to both hypotheses and results. The key element of explanation and understanding is causation. Social scientists are concerned with causation as applied both to individual events or cases and to classes or groups of events. The causal relationship may take many forms. Two of the most prominent, important, and commonly used forms of the causal relationship involve necessary and/or sufficient relationships. As emphasized in the work of Most and Starr among others, analyses must be concerned with the form of the relationship. David Hume's classic definition of cause involves the “constant conjunction” of an object followed by another, where all objects similar to the first are followed ...