Unlike the previous four inductive methods, the concomitant variation method does not involve the elimination of circumstances. Changing the size of one factor causes a change in the size of another factor. Perhaps it is better to look at Mill`s methods more modestly than the tools we can use in our efforts to confirm hypotheses about the natural world. If we have already proposed several specific hypotheses about what could be the cause of an observed event, then the use of the methods will be useful, as it often allows us to eliminate most of the possible causes that we have identified, which tends to confirm the hypothesis that any remaining circumstance is likely to be the true cause. For a property to be a necessary condition, it must always be present when the effect is present. The difference method would identify the independent variable as the status of each country as a former colony or not, with the dependent variable supporting anti-colonial initiatives. This is because of the two similar countries compared, the difference between the two is whether or not they were a colony. This then explains the difference with the values of the dependent variables, with the former colony supporting decolonization rather than the country without a colony history. This principle, also called simply “common method”, simply represents the application of the methods of agreement and difference.

John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) was an English philosopher who wrote on a wide range of subjects from language and science to political philosophy. The so-called “Mills methods” are five rules for causal research that he proposed. It has been suggested that some of these rules were discussed by the famous Islamic scientist and philosopher Avicenna (980-1037). As a general qualification of the reliability of these methods, note that the question of relevance is again crucial. Our nurse began by assuming that what the students had eaten for lunch was relevant to their digestive health in the afternoon. That`s a reasonable guess, but of course, the real cause could have been something completely different, something the nurse never thought to think about. No matter how much evidence we collect, inductive reasoning cannot achieve complete certainty. Knowledge is expanded when we can verify or falsify a hypothesis. This is because experimental tests are designed in such a way that the hypothesis is likely to be a widespread explanation of certain facts and not an isolated case. This type of experiment is controlled, which means that experimental configurations differ by only one variable (see Mills` Difference Method). .

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