Original Paper in Philosophy of Science

European Journal for Philosophy of Science

, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 21-43

First online:

Strategies for securing evidence through model criticism

  • Kent W. StaleyAffiliated withDepartment of Philosopy, Saint Louis University Email author 

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Some accounts of evidence regard it as an objective relationship holding between data and hypotheses, perhaps mediated by a testing procedure. Mayo’s error-statistical theory of evidence is an example of such an approach. Such a view leaves open the question of when an epistemic agent is justified in drawing an inference from such data to a hypothesis. Using Mayo’s account as an illustration, I propose a framework for addressing the justification question via a relativized notion, which I designate security, meant to conceptualize practices aimed at the justification of inferences from evidence. I then show how the notion of security can be put to use by showing how two quite different theoretical approaches to model criticism in statistics can both be viewed as strategies for securing claims about statistical evidence.


Evidence Statistics Robustness Mis-specification testing Error-statistics Justification Security Statistical models