<philosophical terminology> one of Mill's Methods for discovering causal relationships. If portions of a complex phenomenon can be explained by reference to parts of a complex antecedent circumstance, whatever remains of that circumstance may be inferred to be the cause of the remainder that phenomenon. Example: "The old prescription contained vitamins A, B-12, and C, and taking it regularly improved night vision, reduced stress, and prevented colds. The new prescription contains calcium along with vitamins A, B-12, and C, and taking it regularly improves night vision, reduces stress, prevents colds, and increases bone density. Therefore, taking calcium regularly increases bone density." Recommended Reading: John Stuart Mill, System of Logic (Classworks, 1986).
[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]
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