Authors
John Cantwell
Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm
Abstract
Safety factor rules are used for drawing putatively reasonable conclusions from incomplete datasets. The paper attempts to provide answers to four questions: “How are safety factors used?”, “When are safety factors used?”, “Why are safety used?” and “How do safety factor rules relate to decision theory?”. The authors conclude that safety factor rules should be regarded as decision methods rather than as criteria of rightness and that they can be used in both practical and theoretical reasoning. Simplicity of application and inability or unwillingness to defer judgment appear to be important factors in explaining why the rules are used.
Keywords Applied Philosophy  Philosophy of Science  Social Science
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ISBN(s) 1091-8264
DOI 10.5840/techne20071116
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