Verification of Statements on Causal Relationships in Experimental Research
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The causal relation is sometimes defined with reference to the conditions under which experiments are made. It has been pointed out on many occasions, in tentative formulations of a definition of cause, that an exception-free sequence of events is not sufficient for a causal relation to take place, nor is a statistical relationship sufficient for that purpose. Stronger relationships are necessary. One of the endeavours to formulate in what those stronger relationships consist is as follows: an event x is treated as a cause of an event y if in a given situation (definite variables being fixed) y occurs after a purposive producing of x (and if — in that situation — y does not occur if x has not been produced). In such a case x is a necessary component of a sufficient condition of y, and moreover x has been produced on purpose. In accordance with that idea, a connection between phenomena which occur under the conditions of experimental manipulation suffices for a causal nexus to be stated.
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