Quantitative realizations of philosophy of science: William Whewell and statistical methods

Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (3):399-409 (2011)
  Copy   BIBTEX


In this paper, I examine William Whewell’s (1794–1866) ‘Discoverer’s Induction’, and argue that it 21 supplies a strikingly accurate characterization of the logic behind many statistical methods, exploratory 22 data analysis (EDA) in particular. Such methods are additionally well-suited as a point of evaluation of 23 Whewell’s philosophy since the central techniques of EDA were not invented until after Whewell’s death, 24 and so couldn’t have influenced his views. The fact that the quantitative details of some very general 25 methods designed to suggest hypotheses would so closely resemble Whewell’s views of how theories 26 are formed is, I suggest, a strongly positive comment on these views.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 94,420

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

William Whewell’s Semantic Account of Induction.Corey Dethier - 2018 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 8 (1):141-156.
William Whewell’s philosophy of architecture and the historicization of biology.Aleta Quinn - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 1 (59):11-19.
Whewell’s tidal researches: scientific practice and philosophical methodology.Steffen Ducheyne - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (1):26-40.
Discoverers' induction.Laura J. Snyder - 1997 - Philosophy of Science 64 (4):580-604.
Professor Marcucci on Whewell's idealism.Robert E. Butts - 1967 - Philosophy of Science 34 (2):175-183.
Mill's Philosophy of Science.Aaron D. Cobb - 2016 - In Christopher Macleod & Dale E. Miller (eds.), A Companion to Mill. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. pp. 234–249.


Added to PP

81 (#204,210)

6 months
10 (#394,525)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Kent Johnson
Last affiliation: University of California, Irvine

Citations of this work

Add more citations