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The Philosophy of Quantitative MethodsUnderstanding Statistics$
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Brian D. Haig

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190222055

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190222055.001.0001

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(p.65) 4 Bayesianism
The Philosophy of Quantitative Methods

Brian D. Haig

Oxford University Press

Chapter 4 focuses on Bayesian confirmation theory, a formal theory of reasoning based on probability theory. It deals with important, and related, general ideas, such as rationality, confirmation, and inductive inference, including statistical inference. The chapter also provides a selective discussion of Bayesian statistics. The chapter traces some of the broad contours of Bayesian confirmation theory and then presents an evaluation of a philosophy of Bayesian statistical practice. Psychology’s attitudes to Bayesianism are briefly discussed. Considered is the question of whether Bayesianism provides an illuminating account of the approach to theory evaluation known as inference to the best explanation. The chapter offers some broad recommendations for research practice.

Keywords:   Bayesianism, Bayesian confirmation theory, Bayes’s theorem, Bayesianism and scientific method, philosophy of Bayesian statistical modeling

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