Karl Pearson and the Logic of Science: Renouncing Causal Understanding (the Bride) and Inverted Spinozism.

South American Journal of Logic 4 (1):219-252 (2018)
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Karl Pearson is the leading figure of XX century statistics. He and his co-workers crafted the core of the theory, methods and language of frequentist or classical statistics – the prevalent inductive logic of contemporary science. However, before working in statistics, K. Pearson had other interests in life, namely, in this order, philosophy, physics, and biological heredity. Key concepts of his philosophical and epistemological system of anti-Spinozism (a form of transcendental idealism) are carried over to his subsequent works on the logic of scientific discovery. This article’s main goal is to analyze K. Pearson early philosophical and theological ideas and to investigate how the same ideas came to influence contemporary science, either directly or indirectly – by the use of variant theories, methods and dialects of statistics, corresponding to variant statistical inference procedures and their specific belief calculi.

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Julio Michael Stern
University of São Paulo


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