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The Nature of Scientific Evidence – Statistical, Philosophical, and Empirical Considerations - Chicago Scholarship Online
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The Nature of Scientific Evidence: Statistical, Philosophical, and Empirical Considerations

Mark L. Taper and Subhash R. Lele


An exploration of the statistical foundations of scientific inference, this book asks what constitutes scientific evidence and whether scientific evidence can be quantified statistically. The chapters explore the relationships among hypotheses, models, data, and inference on which scientific progress rests in an attempt to develop a new quantitative framework for evidence. Informed by interdisciplinary discussions among scientists, philosophers, and statisticians, the chapters propose a new “evidential” approach, which may be more in keeping with the scientific method. The book argues that all ... More

Keywords: statistical foundations, scientific inference, scientific evidence, hypotheses, models, data, scientific progress, evidential approach, scientific method, statistical philosophy

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2004 Print ISBN-13: 9780226789552
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226789583.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Mark L. Taper, editor

Subhash R. Lele, editor

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Part 1 Scientific Process

Mark L. Taper and Subhash R. Lele

1 A Brief Tour of Statistical Concepts

Nicholas Lewin-Koh, Mark L. Taper, and Subhash R. Lele

6 Why Likelihood?

Malcolm Forster and Elliott Sober

9 Dynamical Models as Paths to Evidence in Ecology

Mark L. Taper and Subhash R. Lele

10 Constraints on Negative Relationships: Mathematical Causes and Ecological Consequences

James H. Brown, Edward J. Bedrick, S. K. Morgan Ernest, Jean-Luc E. Cartron, and Jeffrey F. Kelly

Part 4 Science, Opinion, and Evidence

Mark L. Taper and Subhash R. Lele

Part 5 Models, Realities, and Evidence

Mark L. Taper and Subhash R. Lele

Part 6 Conclusion

End Matter