A draft of my paper “Why I Am Not a Methodological Likelihoodist” is here.
Abstract. Methodological likelihoodism says that it is possible to provide an adequate self-contained methodology for science on the basis of likelihood functions alone. I am not a methodological likelihoodist because I contend that an adequate self-contained methodology for science must provide good norms of commitment vis-á-vis hypotheses and that such norms cannot be given in terms of likelihood functions alone. Likelihoodists typically grant that likelihood functions are not sufficient for good norms of commitment, but they provide no sufficient account of what we are to do with likelihood functions if not to use them to inform our commitments. They could instead attempt to formulate norms of commitment on the basis of likelihood functions alone, but I argue that no norm of that kind is acceptable. Alternatively, likelihoodists could maintain that likelihoodism is the appropriate methodology for science despite not being self-contained because it goes as far toward guiding commitments as norms of scientific objectivity allow. Likelihoodists who take this line owe us an account of how the likelihood function of a reported datum is to be used that vindicates the claim that reporting likelihood functions is a useful alternative or addition to reporting the outcomes of Bayesian and frequentist procedures. No such account is currently available. The common idea that scientists should report likelihood functions for the recipients of their reports to plug into Bayes’s theorem is problematic in principle as well as in practice.
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