Island Biogeography, Species-Area Curves, and Statistical Errors: Applied Biology and Scientific Rationality
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1990:447 - 456 (1990)
When Kangas suggested in 1986 that wildlife reserve designs could be much smaller than previously thought, community ecologists attacked his views on methodological grounds (island biogeographical theory is beset with uncertainties) and on conservation grounds (Kangas seemed to encourage deforestation and extinction). Kangas' defenders, like Simberloff, argued that in a situation of biological uncertainty (the degree/type of deforestation-induced extinction), scientists ought to follow the epistemologically conservative course and risk type-II error (the risk of not rejecting a null hypothesis that is false), rather than type-I error. (This is the risk of rejecting a null hypothesis that is true). Kangas' opponents, like Noss, argued that, in a situation of scientific uncertainty, scientists ought to risk type-I, rather than type-II, error. This essay argues that there are different types of rationality appropriate to science and applied science and, therefore, in cases of applied science (like conservation biology), the more conservative course of action is for scientists to risk type-I error. The essay argues further that, on grounds of scientific rationality, Kangas, Simberloff, and others were correct in risking type-II error, but that, on grounds of decision-theoretic rationality, Noss, Waide, and others were correct in risking type-I error.
|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
William P. Bechtel (1982). Two Common Errors in Explaining Biological and Psychological Phenomena. Philosophy of Science 49 (December):549-574.
Jay Odenbaugh (2010). Philosophy of the Environmental Sciences. In P. D. Magnus & Jacob Busch (eds.), New Waves in Philosophy of Science. Palgrave Macmillan.
K. S. Shrader-Frechette (1993). Method in Ecology: Strategies for Conservation. Cambridge University Press.
Sven Ove Hansson (2006). Economic (Ir)Rationality in Risk Analysis. Economics and Philosophy 22 (2):231-241.
Stefan Linquist (2008). But is It Progress? On the Alleged Advances of Conservation Biology Over Ecology. Biology and Philosophy 23 (4):529-544.
Heather Douglas (2000). Inductive Risk and Values in Science. Philosophy of Science 67 (4):559-579.
Deborah G. Mayo (1997). Error Statistics and Learning From Error: Making a Virtue of Necessity. Philosophy of Science 64 (4):212.
Joan Duckenfield (2013). Antibiotic Resistance Due to Modern Agricultural Practices: An Ethical Perspective. [REVIEW] Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 26 (2):333-350.
R. P. Farrell & C. A. Hooker (2009). Error, Error-Statistics and Self-Directed Anticipative Learning. Foundations of Science 14 (4):249-271.
K. S. Shrader-Frechette & E. D. Mccoy (1994). Biodiversity, Biological Uncertainty, and Setting Conservation Priorities. Biology and Philosophy 9 (2):167-195.
Agnieszka Lekka-Kowalik (2010). Why Science Cannot Be Value-Free. Science and Engineering Ethics 16 (1):33-41.
Timothy D. Lyons (2012). Axiological Scientific Realism and Methodological Prescription. In Henk W. de Regt (ed.), Epsa Philosophy of Science: Amsterdam 2009. Springer. 187--197.
Peter Godfrey-Smith (1994). Of Nulls and Norms. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:280 - 290.
Ulfert Gronewold, Anna Gold & Steven E. Salterio (2013). Reporting Self-Made Errors: The Impact of Organizational Error-Management Climate and Error Type. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 117 (1):189-208.
Aris Spanos (2010). Theory Testing in Economics and the Error-Statistical Perspective. In Deborah G. Mayo & Aris Spanos (eds.), Error and Inference: Recent Exchanges on Experimental Reasoning, Reliability, and the Objectivity and Rationality of Science. Cambridge University Press.
Added to index2011-05-29
Total downloads7 ( #260,986 of 1,696,172 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #333,716 of 1,696,172 )
How can I increase my downloads?