This paper is concerned with the role of rational belief change theory in the philosophical understanding of experimental error. Today, philosophers seek insight about error in the investigation of specific experiments, rather than in general theories. Nevertheless, rational belief change theory adds to our understanding of just such cases: R. A. Fisher’s criticism of Mendel’s experiments being a case in point. After an historical introduction, the main part of this paper investigates Fisher’s paper from the point of view of rational belief change theory: what changes of belief about Mendel’s experiment does Fisher go through and with what justification. It leads to surprising insights about what Fisher had done right and wrong, and, more generally, about the limits of statistical methods in detecting error
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsc.2007.06.009
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Philosophical Writings of Peirce.Charles S. Peirce - 1940 - New York: Dover Publications.
Error and the Growth of Experimental Knowledge.Deborah Mayo - 1996 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 15 (1):455-459.
Likelihood.A. W. F. Edwards - 1972 - Cambridge University Press.

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