Robustness analysis versus reliable process reasoning: Robert Hudson: Seeing things: The philosophy of reliable observation. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014, xii+274pp, £41.99, $58.50 HB

Metascience 24 (1):37-41 (2015)

Chiara Lisciandra
Tilburg University
Robert Hudson’s book is a contribution to the recent debate on robustness analysis in scientific practice, with a specific focus on the empirical sciences. In this context, robustness analysis is defined as a way to increase the probability of a certain hypothesis by showing that the same result is obtained from several, alternative methods. The rationale underlying this practice is that it would be highly unlikely if different, independent means of observation provided the same wrong outcome.We do not believe in miracles; hence, the probability of the initial hypothesis being true increases if the same result occurs across conditions.Simple as this notion sounds, according to Hudson, the various attempts that have been offered in the literature to formalize it have proved to be unsuccessful. Hudson’s skeptical argument is formulated at the outset of the book and illustrated throughout by means of several episodes from the recent history of science, mainly from physics and biology. Met ..
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DOI 10.1007/s11016-014-9927-2
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References found in this work BETA

Economic Modelling as Robustness Analysis.J. Kuorikoski, A. Lehtinen & C. Marchionni - 2010 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (3):541-567.
New Hope for Shogenji's Coherence Measure.Jonah N. Schupbach - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (1):125-142.
Defending Robustness: The Bacterial Mesosome as a Test Case.Sylvia Culp - 1994 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:46 - 57.

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