University of Connecticut

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Philosophy Colloquium: Andre Ariew

Friday, September 30, 2016
4:00pm – 6:00pm

Storrs Campus
Family Studies Building, Room 216

Andre Ariew from the University of Missouri will be giving a talk titled "Francis Galton, Reversion and the Quincunx: The Case for Statistically Autonomous Explanations."

ABSTRACT: A preponderance of the literature on scientific explanation has emphasized the role of causes in explanation. But Francis Galton’s work on “statistically autonomous explanations” attempts to explain hereditary patterns with statistical models (both mathematical and constructed models—the quincunx) that do not appeal to causality. His work represents both a major breakthrough in statistics and provided the basis for synthesis of Darwinian natural selection and genetical theories of evolution. Discussion will center on what justifies the use of an idealized statistical equation to explain a real-world natural phenomenon. As a bonus, there will be no advanced math in the presentation. We follow Galton in utilizing a (virtual version of a) mechanical device to simulate statistical relations between generations.

Contact:

Ashley Oakley, ashley.2.oakley@uconn.edu, 860-486-4416

Philosophy Department (primary), UConn Master Calendar

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