LPS/Phil 240 
Basic Information
Instructor: Kent Johnson
Office Hours: TTh 330430p (and by appointment)
Office Location: SST 755
Introduction. In
your typical bit of basic research in the sciences, some empirical
data about the world are collected and processed, and at the end,
sometimes a conclusion about the larger world is drawn. This is a
case of scientific inference. Broadly speaking, the purpose of
this course is to get a better sense of how it works, and some of
the philosophical issues that lie under and alongside such
practices. The readings emphasize the "citation classics" in this
area  texts and positions that philosophers of science in
general should be familiar with.
Background. There is no
expectation that students will already be familiar with the
statistical methods that will be the topics of philosophical
discussion. Instead, in weeks 1 and 4, we will survey some
important elements of these methods. The purpose of these surveys
will be to develop some sufficiently realistic and concrete
examples, with which we can consider the philosophical positions
discussed in the remaining weeks.
Week  Topics and
Readings 
Extra Readings 
Presenter 
1 
Classical Inference: Basic examples and facts

Kent Slides 

2 
Classical Inference: Hooray!


Bennett 
3 
Classical Inference: Boo!


Heidi 
4 
Bayesian Inference: Basic examples and facts


Sam 
5 
Bayesian Inference: Hooray!


James 
6 
Bayesian Inference: Boo!


Hannah 
7 
The Likelihood Principle


Justin/Erin 
8 
Model Selection


Mark 
9 
Representation, Invariance, Meaningfulness


Ben 
10 
Causal Inference


Skyler/Jenny 