PSA2016: The 25th Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association

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Symposium: Philosophy of Statistics in the Age of Big Data and Replication Crises

Friday, 4 November 2016
09:00 - 11:45

Piedmont 4 (12th Floor)

Chair: Edward Rigdon, Georgia State University

Science is undergoing a crisis over reliability and reproducibility. High-powered methods are prone to cherry-picking correlations, significance-seeking, and assorted modes of extraordinary rendition of data. The Big Data revolution may encourage a reliance on statistical methods without sufficient scrutiny of whether they are teaching us about causal processes of interest. Mounting failures of replication in the social and biological sciences have resulted in new institutes for meta-research, replication research, and widespread efforts to restore scientific integrity and transparency. Statistical significance test controversies, long raging in the social sciences, have spread to all fields using statistics. At the same time, foundational debates over frequentist and Bayesian methods have shifted in important ways that are often overlooked in the debates. The problems introduce philosophical and methodological questions about probabilistic tools, and science and pseudoscience—intertwined with technical statistics and the philosophy and history of statistics. Our symposium goal is to address foundational issues around which the current crisis in science revolves. We combine the insights of philosophers, psychologists, and statisticians whose work interrelates philosophy and history of statistics, data analysis and modeling.

Controversy Over the Significance Controversy
Deborah Mayo, Virginia Tech,
Surrogate Science: How Fisher, Neyman-Pearson, and Bayes Were Transformed into the Null Ritual
Gerd Gigerenzer, Max Planck Institute for Human Development,
Confirmationist and falsificationist paradigms in statistical practice
Andrew Gelman, Columbia University,
Exploratory Research is More Reliable than Confirmatory Research
Clark Glymour, Carnegie Mellon University,


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