The Virtues of Randomization

@article{Papineau1994TheVO,
  title={The Virtues of Randomization},
  author={David Papineau},
  journal={The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science},
  year={1994},
  volume={45},
  pages={437 - 450}
}
  • D. Papineau
  • Published 1 June 1994
  • Philosophy
  • The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Peter Urbach has argued, on Bayesian grounds, that experimental randomization serves no useful purpose in testing causal hypothesis. I maintain that he fails to distinguish general issues of statistical inference from specific problems involved in identifying causes. I concede the general Bayesian thesis that random sampling is inessential to sound statistical inference. But experimental randomization is a different matter, and often plays an essential role in our route to causal conclusions. 
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TLDR
It is argued here that randomization is appropriate, as it eliminates the dependence of inference on the unknown precise physical model that underlies a set of observations, and effective, in that it is relatively simple to apply in practice compared with any competing method.
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