David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In P. D. Magnus & Jacob Busch (eds.), New Waves in Philosophy of Science. Palgrave Macmillan (2010)
In this essay, I consider three philosophical issues that arise in the environmental sciences. First, these sciences depend on mathematical models and simulations which are highly idealized and are coupled with very uncertain data. Why should we trust these models and simulations? Second, in standard hypothesis testing, the burden of proof is in favor of the null hypothesis which claims some causal factor has no effect. The alternative hypothesis is accepted only when the likelihood of the null hypothesis is very low. Recently, some have argued that we should minimize Type II errors (not rejecting a false null) rather than Type I errors (rejecting a true null) given the environmental risks involved. I consider arguments for shifting this burden of proof when possible environmental harms are significant. Finally, in debates over global climate change, much is made of the apparent consensus concerning the effects of human induced greenhouse gas emissions on average surface temperatures. However, scientific methods are structured around dissent and criticism. Is consensus-based science orthogonal are even harmful to science?
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Kevin C. Elliott (2009). The Ethical Significance of Language in the Environmental Sciences: Case Studies From Pollution Research. Ethics, Place and Environment 12 (2):157 – 173.
Eileen Crist & H. Bruce Rinker (eds.) (2010). Gaia in Turmoil: Climate Change, Biodepletion, and Earth Ethics in an Age of Crisis. Mit Press.
John Lemons, Kristin Shrader-Frechette & Carl Cranor (1997). The Precautionary Principle: Scientific Uncertainty and Type I and Type II Errors. [REVIEW] Foundations of Science 2 (2):207-236.
Jonathan J. Koehler (1997). A Farewell to Normative Null Hypothesis Testing in Base Rate Research. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (4):780-782.
Kristin S. Shrader-Frechette (1990). Island Biogeography, Species-Area Curves, and Statistical Errors: Applied Biology and Scientific Rationality. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1990:447 - 456.
Edward Erwin (1998). The Logic of Null Hypothesis Testing. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (2):197-198.
Bruno D. Zumbo (1998). A Viable Alternative to Null-Hypothesis Testing. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (2):227-228.
Robert W. Frick (1998). Chow's Defense of Null-Hypothesis Testing: Too Traditional? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (2):199-199.
David Rindskopf (1998). Null-Hypothesis Tests Are Not Completely Stupid, but Bayesian Statistics Are Better. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (2):215-216.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads15 ( #88,679 of 1,004,651 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #64,617 of 1,004,651 )
How can I increase my downloads?