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Bayesian Philosophy of Science$
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Jan Sprenger and Stephan Hartmann

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780199672110

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199672110.001.0001

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Scientific Objectivity

Scientific Objectivity

Chapter:
(p.287) Variation 11: Scientific Objectivity
Source:
Bayesian Philosophy of Science
Author(s):

Jan Sprenger

Stephan Hartmann

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199672110.003.0011

Subjective Bayesianism is often criticized for a lack of objectivity: (i) it opens the door to the influence of values and biases, (ii) evidence judgments can vary substantially between scientists, (iii) it is not suited for informing policy decisions. We rebut these concerns by bridging the debates on scientific objectivity and Bayesian inference in statistics. First, we show that the above concerns arise equally for frequentist statistical inference. Second, we argue that the involved senses of objectivity are epistemically inert. Third, we show that Subjective Bayesianism promotes other, epistemically relevant senses of scientific objectivity—most notably by increasing the transparency of scientific reasoning.

Keywords:   Scientific objectivity, Value-Free Ideal, Bayesian reasoning, frequentist statistics, robustness, social epistemology of science

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