The Annals of Statistics

John W. Tukey as "philosopher"

A. P. Dempster

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Although not a traditional philosopher, John Tukey contributed much to our understanding of statistical science and empirical science more broadly. The former is represented by the light he shed on the relation of drawing conclusions to making decisions, and of how simple concepts like significance and confidence serve to back up or "confirm" empirical findings. Less successfully, he attempted inconclusively to sort out the ambiguities of R. A. Fisher's fiducial argument. His main effort, however, went to creating "exploratory data analysis" or EDA as a subfield of statistics with much to offer to ongoing developments in data mining and data visualization.

Article information

Ann. Statist., Volume 30, Number 6 (2002), 1619-1628.

First available in Project Euclid: 23 January 2003

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Mathematical Reviews number (MathSciNet)

Zentralblatt MATH identifier

Primary: 62A01: Foundations and philosophical topics 62-07: Data analysis 62F03: Hypothesis testing 01A70: Biographies, obituaries, personalia, bibliographies

Conclusions decisions confirmatory exploratory Fisher Neyman Bayes


Dempster, A. P. John W. Tukey as "philosopher". Ann. Statist. 30 (2002), no. 6, 1619--1628. doi:10.1214/aos/1043351249.

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