David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
When observing or measuring phenomena, errors are inevitable, one can only aspire to reduce these errors as much as possible. An obvious strategy to achieve this reduction is by using more precise instruments. Another strategy was to develop a theory of these errors that could indicate how to take them into account. One of the greatest achievements of statistics in the beginning of the 19th century was such a theory of error. This theory told the practitioners that the best thing they could do is taking the arithmetical mean of their observations. This average would give them the most accurate estimate of the value they were searching for. Soon after its invention, this method made a triumphal march across various sciences. However, not in all sciences one stood waving aside. This method, namely, only worked well when the various observations were made under similar circumstances and when there were very many of them. And this was not the case for e.g. meteorology and actuarial science, the two sciences discussed in this paper.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
K. P. (2003). Theory-Ladenness of Evidence: A Case Study From History of Chemistry. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 34 (2):351-368.
K. G. Munhall & J. A. Jones (1998). Articulatory Evidence for Syllabic Structure. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (4):524-525.
Gopal Sreenivasan (2002). Errors About Errors: Virtue Theory and Trait Attribution. Mind 111 (441):47-68.
Charles Tilly (2004). Observations of Social Processes and Their Formal Representations. Sociological Theory 22 (4):595-602.
Monica Bucciarelli (2000). Reasoning Strategies in Syllogisms: Evidence for Performance Errors Along with Computational Limitations. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (5):669-670.
Kent W. Staley (2002). What Experiment Did We Just Do? Counterfactual Error Statistics and Uncertainties About the Reference Class. Philosophy of Science 69 (2):279-299.
Yaakov Zik (2001). Science and Instruments: The Telescope as a Scientific Instrument at the Beginning of the Seventeenth Century. Perspectives on Science 9 (3):259-284.
William P. Bechtel (1982). Two Common Errors in Explaining Biological and Psychological Phenomena. Philosophy of Science 49 (December):549-574.
Deborah G. Mayo (1997). Error Statistics and Learning From Error: Making a Virtue of Necessity. Philosophy of Science 64 (4):212.
Added to index2009-07-19
Total downloads38 ( #46,119 of 1,102,965 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #84,832 of 1,102,965 )
How can I increase my downloads?