May 2016

Causality, method and imagination

Increasingly, critical realist scholars have been discussing the implications of realist theories of causality for the research methods we use in the social sciences. The usual view – which I will agree with – is that realism is compatible with a wide range of different research methods. But I will suggest that for realists there is a gap between conventional methods and the explanatory task, and then speculate a little on how we might fill that gap in practice.