Error and inference: Recent exchanges on experimental reasoning, reliability, and the objectivity and rationality of science * edited by Deborah G. Mayo and Aris Spanos

Analysis 71 (2):406-408 (2011)
When do data provide good evidence for a hypothesis, evidence that warrants an inference to the hypothesis? Standard answers either reject the legitimacy of induction or else allow warranted inference from data to hypothesis when there are suitable relationships between and among the data and hypotheses. The severity account rejects all of these, maintaining instead that the good evidence relation concerns not only relations between data and hypotheses but also the methods for obtaining the data and the sensitivity of these methods to detecting falsehood. So, for example, the severity account allows two rival hypotheses to fit the data equally well, even to the point of having the same prior and posterior probabilities relative to those data, while the data nonetheless favour one hypothesis over the other by virtue of those data providing a severe test of one hypothesis and not the other. The contributions to Error and Inference variously trace the genesis of the severity account from statistics-oriented sciences, elaborate upon the account’s details, apply the account to various philosophical issues, and offer challenges to the account’s adequacy and replies to major criticisms. The editors have developed the severity account in detail elsewhere, and this anthology is an effort …
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DOI 10.1093/analys/anr027
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