Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Philosophy Under Analysis: The Statistics

The following is a guest post from the graduate student Efron Prague.

I wanted to know about the composition of philosophy, and the ideas that underly it. In order to get a better grasp on philosophy, we need to learn how to correlate different values, analyze patterns that come up, deal conceptually with a wide range of data, and work on our way of thinking about the world. But we need to look at the numbers.

I talked to a number of students and experts and made a weighted influence function, performed a GRE regression analysis on the data, and fed it through a cross-point algorithm. The results were as follows:

REM  GRE    True    False

23         96       False   False
20        44       True       True
005     39          False True
294    200       True     False

Here's a visualisation of this combined with some other data gathered during the study:

Image result for waveform wallpaper


  1. These REM values are fascinating. Why do you think there are so many 2's and 0's?

    1. Webmaster Slave Dialectic17 May 2017 at 15:52

      Thanks for this! That's a great question. Unfortunately with the data we have it's anyone's guess, but those with a better stats background than I may be able to shed some light here. Anyone? (Having typed this it occurs to me that whenever you see a 4, you have to take into account that this may have influenced the True or False in the other collumn. Not sure if that's relevant but it's a fun concept to play with! Going to bed now.)

    2. (I hope Efron won't mind my giving the above preliminary answer on hid behalf. He's got a fly-out this Friday at Syracuse and needs all his attention to be placed on that. I think he should be able to check this on the flight back and maybe help us all out. Maybe he'll have some good news about the fly out too! We're all rooting for you Efron. You're a fine philosopher.)

    3. Hi guys, Efron here. I can confirm the above! But also beware that the GRE's are indexed.

      Fly-out went really well, but I hope I don't jinx it! Now it's time for *me* to bed. That was gruelling!

  2. Any 4^2 GRE is a set point for 223 and True. So how come you put REMs beside them in normal form? This is basic stuff.

  3. Young Epistemologist20 May 2017 at 23:44

    Hi, I am going to make note of these and tell my students about these numbers. I can imagine being the only person in the room knowing these, and I believe I would feel a lot of adrenaline. Anyway, please tell us more about the situation with the GRE indexing. I do not know if this is methodologically sound, but I have decided to record a number in my log book every time I give an adjunct lecture, and I will be counting them all up at the end of semester. These numbers are derived from my impression about the philosophical orientation of the listeners: have they felt good? More importantly, did they learn anything? These are just some of the things I have had to contend with.

    But I am super on board and sensitive to this project. Please post more when you can Efron, and good luck with the Syracuse flyout. I am sorry if my comments came across as ill informed or confused, but I am reaching into this stuff after a 3:4 teaching load at a small school. I recently had an article accepted in Synthese.