Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Nature's experiments and natural experiments in the social sciences

Morgan, Mary S. (2013) Nature's experiments and natural experiments in the social sciences. Philosophy of the Social Sciences, 43 (3). pp. 341-357. ISSN 0048-3931

Full text not available from this repository.
Identification Number: 10.1177/0048393113489100


This article explores the characteristics of research sites that scientists have called “natural experiments” to understand and develop usable distinctions for the social sciences between “Nature’s or Society’s experiments” and “natural experiments.” In this analysis, natural experiments emerge as the retro-fitting by social scientists of events that have happened in the social world into the traditional forms of field or randomized trial experiments. By contrast, “Society’s experiments” figure as events in the world that happen in circumstances that are already sufficiently “controlled” to be open for direct analysis without reconstruction work.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 The Author
Divisions: Economic History
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2013 14:21
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 02:04
Funders: Wolfson Foundation via the British Academy

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item