Induction and scientific method

Level

All PhD philosophers of the Doctoral School of Arts, Humanities and Law from Ghent University, Antwerp University, KU Leuven and other universities interested in scientific method.

Organising and Scientific Committe

  • Prof. dr. Maarten Van Dyck, Department of Philosophy and Moral Science, Ghent University; maarten.vandyck@ugent.be
  • Prof. dr. Erik Weber, Department of Philosophy and Moral Science, Ghent University; erik.weber@ugent.be

Topic and objectives

The course provides an overview of the philosophical and scientific debate over the problem of induction, with an emphasis on the formal methods that have been used to frame and resolve the problem. It covers the following five topics:
- inductive logic and the logical empiricist programme;
- statistical inference in the sciences;
- conceptual frameworks and statistical models;
- interventions and causal inference;
- induction and conceptual change.


The course will be more or less self-contained. No prior knowledge of inductive logic or statistics is required. A general understanding of philosophy of science and its wider philosophical context is presupposed.

Lecturer

  • Jan-Willem Romeijn is professor of philosophy of science at the Philosophy Faculty of the University of Groningen and head of the Department of Theoretical Philosophy. He wrote his dissertation on statistical inference and inductive logic. After this he lectured philosophy of science and statistical methodology at the Psychology Department of the University of Amsterdam. In 2007 he returned to Groningen for a postdoctoral research project on the intersection of logic and statistical inference, and in 2011 he began a research project on the concept of chance in statistics. His research interests include scientific method, inductive logic, and statistical inference.

Programme

Each lecture is based in selected readings and allows ample room for discussion.

  • Wednesday 21/09, 2016

  9:00    Course introduction
10:00    Break
10:15    Framing induction: prediction and confirmation (reading 1)
12:15    Lunch
13:45    Carnap’s programme of inductive logic (reading 2)
15:45    Break    
16:00    Statistical inference: classical (reading 3)
17:00    Drinks

  • Thursday 22/09, 2016

  9:00    Statistical inference: Bayesian (reading 4)
10:30    Break
10:45    Exercises and discussion
12:15    Lunch
13:45    Conceptual frameworks and statistical models (reading 5)
15:45    Break
16:00    Statistical model evaluation (reading 5)
17:00    Drinks

  • Friday 23/09, 2016

  9:00    Causality and conceptual change: introduction
10:00    Break
10:15    Interventions and causal inference (guest lecture B. Leuridan)
12:15    Lunch
13:45    Statistical inference and conceptual change (guest lecture S. Wenmackers)
15:45    Break
16:00    Predicting the future
17:00    Drinks

Venue

Ghent University, Blandijnberg 2, rooms te be announced.

Readings

  1. Hume, D. (1748/1999), ed. T.L. Beauchamp, Oxford University Press, pp. 101–147 (sections 3–7).
  2. Romeijn, J.W. (2011), “Statistics as Inductive Logic”, in Handbook for the Philosophy of Science, Vol. 7: Philosophy of Statistics, Bandyopadhyay, P. and M. Forster (eds.), pp. 751-774.
  3. Romeijn, J.W. (2014 ), “Philosophy of Statistics”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2016), E.N. Zalta (ed.), http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2016/entries/statistics/, section 3.
  4. Romeijn, J.W. (2014 ), “Philosophy of Statistics”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2016), E.N. Zalta (ed.), http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2016/entries/statistics/, section 4.
  5. Kieseppä, I. A. (1997), “Akaike Information Criterion, Curve-Fitting, and the Philosophical Problem of Simplicity”, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 48(1): 21–48.
  6. Kieseppä, I. A., 2001, “Statistical Model Selection Criteria and the Philosophical Problem of Underdetermination”, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 52(4): 761–794.

Note: the guest lecturers will most likely supplement the reading with papers of their own.

Registration fee

Free of charge for members of the Ghent University Doctoral School of Arts, Humanities & Law

Registration

Please contact Prof. dr. Maarten Van Dyck  maarten.vandyck@ugent.be

Number of participants

Maximum 15

Evaluation criteria (doctoral training programme)

100% active participation in all sessions and discussions