

Philosophy of Statistics error@vt.edu, mayod@vt.edu Office Hrs: T405: TBA PH500 Ph.D Research Seminar in the Philosophy of Science: Autumn 2008: Topics in the Philosophy and History of Inductive/Statistical Inference and the Foundations of Statistical Science The Seminar is currently scheduled for 10:0012:00, in the Lakatos Building: Room T206the seminar room on the 2nd floor (Department of Philosophy)on the following Wednesdays: 15, 29 October; 12, 19 November; 10 December. This seminar will focus on central problems in contemporary philosophy of statistics, and their interrelationships with general problems of inference and evidence in philosophy of science. We will study some relevant work by statisticians, e.g., R.A. Fisher, J. Neyman, E.S. Pearson, L. J. Savage, G. Barnard, D.R. Cox, E. Lehmann, J. Berger, notable exchanges between them, and related arguments by philosophers of statistics and confirmation theory. We will trace out a handful of problems and principles that underlie contrasting philosophies about evidence and inference, as well as contemporary statistical foundations (frequentist, Bayesian,other). Questions we consider include: What are the roles of probability in uncertain inference in science? Which methods can be shown to ensure reliability? And How is control of longrun error probabilities relevant for warranting inductive inference in science? We will explore how contrasting answers to these questions directly connects to longstanding problems about inductive inference and methodological issues about data collection and hypotheses construction, e.g., datadependent (versus predesignated) hypotheses, doublecounting, datamining, "stoppingrules", and "selection" effects.
For more information and updates, please write to mayod@vt.edu or error@vt.edu. *However, if there is interest, I would expect to hold 12 optional sessions on some of the more formal aspects.

