Causation in International Relations: Reclaiming Causal by Milja Kurki

By Milja Kurki

Global political procedures, akin to wars and globalisation, are engendered through complicated units of reasons and stipulations. even though the belief of causation is key to the sector of diplomacy, what the idea that of reason ability or involves has remained an unresolved and contested subject. In fresh many years ferocious debates have surrounded the assumption of causal research, a few students even wondering the legitimacy of employing the thought of reason within the examine of diplomacy. This booklet means that underlying the debates on causation within the box of diplomacy is a suite of challenging assumptions (deterministic, mechanistic and empiricist) and that we must always reclaim causal research from the dominant discourse of causation. Milja Kurki argues that reinterpreting the that means, goals and techniques of social medical causal research opens up multi-causal and methodologically pluralist avenues for destiny diplomacy scholarship.

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The bases of knowledge – and the limits of our knowledge – are defined by what our perceptions transmit to us. 44 Against the rationalist philosophers such as Descartes, Hume argued that our ideas are not innate within us but arise from experience. 45 Instead of inquiring into ideas, we should, he argued, inquire into what is ‘behind’ the ideas that we hold, that is, the impressions that precipitate these particular ideas. ’46 Against the philosophical realist premises of the ‘antient’ philosophers and many Renaissance scientists, Hume famously argued that it is impossible to conceptualise the nature of reality beyond our impressions: because we have no way of justifying knowledge beyond our impressions and (impression-derived) ideas.

Aristotle (1970a: 38: line 198a25). The notion ‘common-sensical’ is potentially a very loaded term. In the context of this book it is taken to mean that which seems to make ‘practical sense’ to a number of people, that which seems intuitively satisfactory. For a discussion of necessity and determinism in Aristotle see Edel (1982: 390–5). For Aristotle’s discussion of various forms of necessity see, for example, Aristotle (1970b: 10–11). 21 This logical necessity, however, is distinguished from natural necessity.

He puts forward the so-called Method of Agreement as a way of explicating these singular causes. He argues that a cause can be called a cause if it can be shown that when effect E is present, cause C is also present. Crucially, he also introduces the so-called Method of Difference which aims to demonstrate, through a counterfactual argument, that effect E would not have taken place were it not for cause C (that is, E is absent when C is absent). Although Mill makes room for talking about what seem to be ‘singular’ causal antecedents (causal statements that do not explicitly invoke regularities), it should be noted that causal antecedents are seen to be underlined by regularities in nature.

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