This paper collects ideas from causal analysis, analogical reasoning, empirical learning, and presents an integrated methodology to refining causal and social theories. Its major contribution is that the theory validation meth<Xl, which consists of an incremental process of generation and pruning of examples and counterexamples, can work in the face of the two following limitations: (a) lack of prior knowledge, (b) lack of specific examples. The approach has been implemented in a program called IR89. We provide an example of 1R89 acting as an experimenter of social theories in the domain of Italian Renaissance history. Experimental investigations with "interesting " theories give the work more support. 1
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