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Unformatted text preview: Statistics and then Vision of a New Kind of Science 20:43 1) Science and Casual Explanation • Causes were central to conceptions of scientific explanations. You explain an event as having come about as a direct result of an antecedent state of affairs. The best explaniont is taxoniomic appraoches to science. • Causal deterministic explanations were the ones that carried the prestige, the premium. You wanted to explain things in terms of antecedent events. “Billiard Ball Causation” • In the later 19 th century, there is an alternative to a causal explanation, but you get the glimmerings of alternative techniques and ways of conceptualizing, which eventually come to supplant the older deterministic causal model. • New procedures and techniques that emerged out of the new methods were based on statistics and the appliation of mathematical probability 2) Laplace and Probability • Trying to achieve mathetmatical model of the reasonable man, “good judgement” It usually centered on the use of gambling games as the neatest way of formalizing these issues of undertain judgment. How much will the reasonalble man be willing to bet in a game situation • Error theory: laplace wanted to use to deal with lare quantities of empirical data where there were random errors involved. Statistically determinging the TRUE value for an empirical measurement. The determination of an observational measurement like the position of a star in the sky. Lots of numbers to measure the same quantity. But they don’t exactly agree with one another. How do you determine the most likely true value? o In the error curve, you find that the man value is usually the true value (put all of the data values on a curve, find the mean) o Varying data becomes less and less likely the further you get away from the mean. • Bell-Curve (De Moivre) o French/ English mathemetician. He had used the curve to figure out different outcomes of coin tosses. He reckoned that this curve was the general representation for any particular number of coins that would be involved in that kind of random chance governed event. • “Error Analysis” o Laplace wrote the landmark book about the error curve, the standard book , came out in 1814: The ANALYTICAL THEORY OF PROBABILITIES. He lays out in probable terms the use of the error curve. Mathematical ways to deal with errors in mathematical data. By this time, the theory was very well intrenched, especially with astronomical observation. astronomical observation....
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This note was uploaded on 09/30/2009 for the course STS 2821 taught by Professor Dear during the Spring '09 term at Cornell.
- Spring '09