Exploration and Inference

  • Martin Rutsch
Conference paper


Around seemingly self-protecting methods of statistical inference, various ‘external uncertainties’ are lurking. They may reduce the practice of inferential techniques to the status of an exploratory activity. Conversely, exploration, consciously practiced, can be a liberated form of inference, partly dispensing with the strict requirements of the latter and renouncing its built-in protection — as far as these are undermined by external uncertainty. Such interchanges between Inference and Exploration show the important role of the framework of induction as an ‘environment’ surrounding the statistical act of inference and supplying it with supplementary information.


Statistical Inference Male Birth Inductive Generalization Relevant Circumstance Intended Population 
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Die scheinbar sich selbst sichernden Methoden der statistischen Inferenz werden von vielfältigen ‘äußeren Ungewißheiten’ umlauert. Diese können der Ausübung inferentieller Techniken in Wirklichkeit den Charakter explorativer Betätigung geben. Umgekehrt kann bewußt geübte Exploration eine befreite Form von Inferenz sein, die teilweise deren strenge Auflagen mildert und auf ihre eingebaute Absicherung verzichtet — soweit diese durch jene ‘äußere Ungewißheit’ in Frage gestellt sind. Die Übergänge zwischen Inferenz und Exploration zeigen die wichtige Rolle der induktiven Situation auf, die den statistischen Akt der Inferenz als dessen ‘Umwelt’ umgibt und mit zusätzlicher Information versorgt.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Rutsch
    • 1
  1. 1.KarlsruheGermany

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