new course

2023 Syllabus for Philosophy of Inductive-Statistical Inference

PHIL 6014 (crn: 20919): Spring 2023 

Philosophy of Inductive-Statistical Inference
(This is an IN-PERSON class*)
Wed 4:00-6:30 pm, McBryde 22
*There may be opportunities for zooming half-way through the semester.

Syllabus: First Installment (PDF)

D. Mayo (2018) Statistical Inference as Severe Testing: How to Get Beyond the Statistics Wars (SIST) CUP, 2018: SIST (electronic and paper provided to those taking the class; proofs are at, see below).
Articles from the Captain’s Bibliography (links to new articles will be provided). Other useful information can be found on the SIST Abstracts & Keywords and this post with SIST Excerpts & Mementos)

1. 1/18      Introduction to the Course:
How to tell what’s true about statistical inference

(1/18/23 SLIDES here)

Reading: Statistical Inference as Severe Testing: How to Get Beyond the Statistics Wars (SIST): Preface, Excursion 1 Tour I 1.1-1.3, 9-29

MISC: Souvenir A; SIST Abstracts & Keywords for all excursions and tours
2. 1/25
Q #2
Error Probing Tools vs Comparative Evidence: Likelihood & Probability
What counts as cheating?
Intro to Logic: arguments validity & soundness

(1/25/23 SLIDES here)

Reading: SIST: Excursion 1 Tour II 1.4-1.5, 30-55
Session #2 Questions: (PDF)

MISC: NOTES on Excursion 1, SIST: Souvenirs B, C & D, Logic Primer (PDF)
3. 2/1
   Q #3
Induction and Confirmation: PhilStat & Formal Epistemology
The Traditional Problem of Induction
Is Probability a Good Measure of Confirmation? Tacking Paradox

(2/1/23 SLIDES here)

Reading: SIST: Excursion 2, Tour I: 2.1-2.2, 59-74
Hacking “The Basic Rules of Probability” Hand Out (PDF)
UPDATED: Session #3 Questions: (PDF)

MISC: Excursion 2 Tour I Blurb & notes
4. 2/8 &
5. 2/15
Assign 1 2/15 
Falsification, Science vs Pseudoscience, Induction
Statistical Crises of Replication in Psychology & other sciences

Popper, severity and novelty, array of problems and models
Fallacies of rejection, Duhem’s problem; solving induction now

Reading for 2/8: Popper, Ch 1 from Conjectures and Refutations (PDF), Popper Test
Reading for 2/15: SIST: Excursion 2, Tour II: 2.3-2.7, pages TBA
Optional for 2/15: Gelman & Loken (2014)

ASSIGNMENT 1 (due 2/15) (PDF)

MISC: SIST Souvenirs (E), (F), (G),(H
Excursion 2 Tour II Blurb & notes
 Fisher Birthday: February 17: Celebration of N-F wars
6. 2/22 & 7. 3/1Ingenious and Severe Tests: Fisher, Neyman-Pearson, Cox: Concepts of Tests
Reading SIST: Excursion 3 Tour I: 3.1-3.3, 119-163 (trade-offs 328-330)

The Triad: Fisher (1955), Pearson (1955); Neyman (1956)
The 1919 eclipse tests; Fisherian and N-P Tests;
Frequentist principle of evidence: FEV

Apps for statistical testing 
MISC: Excursion 3 Tour I Blurb & notes
SPRING BREAK Statistical Exercises While Sunning (March 4-12)

The following is very tentative, and will depend on student interests.
8. 3/15 Assign 2Confidence & Fiducial Intervals and Deeper Concepts:
Higgs Discovery
9. 3/22Objectivity in Science: Objectivity in Error Statistics & Bayesian Philosophies
10. 3/29 Short essayBayes factors and Bayes/Fisher Disagreement, Jeffreys-Lindley Paradox
11. 4/5Biasing Selection Effects, P-Hacking, Data Dredging etc.
12. 4/12
Assign 3
Negative Results: Power vs Severity
13. 4/19Should Statistical Significance Tests be Abandoned, Retired, or Replaced?
Other: TBA
14. 4/26Severity, Sensitivity, Safety: PhilStat and Classical Epistemology
15. 5/3Current Reforms and Stat Activism: Practicing Our Skills
  Final Paper
Categories: Announcement, new course | 2 Comments

I’m teaching a New Intro to PhilStat Course Starting Wednesday:

Ship StatInfasst (Statistical Inference as Severe Testing: SIST) will set sail on Wednesday January 18 when I begin a weekly seminar on the Philosophy of Inductive-statistical inference. I’m planning to write a new edition and/or companion to SIST (Mayo 2018, CUP), so it will be good to retrace the journey. I’m not requiring a statistics or philosophy background. All materials will be on this blog, and around halfway through there may be an opportunity to zoom, if there’s interest.


Categories: Announcement, new course | 2 Comments

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