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Department of History and Philosophy

Montana State University
Bozeman Montana

Professor of Philosophy

Research Interests

My primary research area is philosophy of science, with a special emphasis on the application of probabilistic/statistical reasoning to scientific inference, theory-testing and evaluations of theories. Although philosophy of science is a careful reflection on scientific methodology including the actual practice of science, very few philosophers of science, strictly speaking, are working scientists. To know how science works in or outside labs I have been collaborating closely with working scientists including statisticians (Robert Boik, and Mark Greenwood, Montana State University, C. Andy Tsao, National Dong Hwa University, Taiwan), and an ecologist ( Mark Taper, Montana State University). At the same time, I am also in constant touch with philosophers (Gordon Brittan, ARBC philosopher, John Bennett, University of Rochester). Based on interacting with both scientists and philosophers, I have developed a Bayesian philosophical position which provides responses to long standing philosophical problems like “the curve-fitting problem”, “the underdetermination problem”, “the Duhem-Quine holism problem”, “the Popperian severity of theory-testing problem” and many more. Borrowing a cue from a statistician, Richard Royall, I have distinguished between the belief and evidence questions. I have argued that this distinction holds the key to addressing several of the problems listed above. In addition, like any other philosophy of science mine also acts as the intellectual conscience of practicing scientists!

Prasanta Bandyopadhyay