David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1982:447 - 463 (1982)
There are two uses of randomization in efforts to control systematic bias in experimental design: (a) Alchemical uses seek to convert unavoidable systematic errors into random errors. (b) Hygienic uses seek to reduce the prospect of the experimenter's involvement with the implementation of the experiment contributing to bias. A few remarks are made at the end of the paper about the hygienic use of randomization as a preventative against sticky fingers. The bulk of the discussion addresses the alchemical applications. The thesis is that attitudes towards the cogency of Fisher's alchemical use of randomization ought to depend on views concerning statistical deduction or direct inference.
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