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19th Annual Alice Ambrose
Lazerowitz-Thomas Tymoczko Memorial Logic Lecture

Simpson's Paradox:
Logic, Philosophy and a Dash of History


Prasanta S. Bandyopadhyay
Professor of Philosophy, Montana State University


Thursday, December 7, 2017 at 7:30p.m.
Seelye Hall 106


Abstract
There are at least three questions associated with Simpson's paradox (SP):
 (i)  Why SP is a paradox?
(ii)  What conditions generate SP? and
(iii)  How to proceed when confronted with the what-to-do question regarding SP?

Professor Bandyopadhyay will argue that an adequate analysis of the paradox should start from distinguishing three questions.  Thus, by proposing a logic-based account of the paradox, and substantiating it with a counterexample to casual accounts (developed independently by Pearl and the Carnegie Mellon philosophers and statisticians), he will show that no causal factor is at play in answering questions (i) and (ii).  Causality enters only in connection with the what-to-do question.  The talk will also bring out some history behind the paradox as well as the account proposed.  Finally, he will discuss a generalized definition concerning what counts as a paradox.

 

 




 

 

 
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