In these cases, we might use an experimental design referred to as “matching” that goes back to the philosophers Mill (1950) and Bacon (1854).
–David Danks and Frederick Eberhardt, “Conceptual Problems in Statistics, Testing and Experimentation,” in The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Psychology (2009).
If something in that quote just doesn’t sit well with you, good for you! Even if one can not remember quite when John Stuart Mill lived, everyone knows that our old friend Francis Bacon did not make it to the year 1854.
While we can appreciate that Danks & Eberhardt read what Mill had to say in a
crappy old book published in 1950, and Bacon in one published in 1854, it is– to say the least– misleading.
Let’s clear this up before we move on.
Bacon’s Novum organum was published in 1620. How hard was that?
This sort of stuff irritates the living bejeezus out of me. Mill never wrote a book titled “Philosophy of the Scientific Method.” And even if he had he sure as hell didn’t publish it in 1950. Ernest Nagel on the other hand did edit a book of Mill’s writings of that title and it was published in 1950. I cannot find a real or electronic copy of it anywhere so I can not offer anything more.
Marica, marica, marica… you may be sighing. Why does this upset you so? Why does it matter?
1) It misrepresents a significant (pun) aspect of the problem which is the problem’s history. One might see 1854 and think, “Wow, this has been a problem for, let’s see… over 150 years!” No dude. It’s been a problem for four freaking centuries.
2) It puts Bacon in the 19th century. Bacon has no business in the 19th century. Likewise, Mill has no business in the 20th (not that the 20th century couldn’t have used some Mill).
3) It’s the principle. If you are going to quote as if you are citing primary literature cite the freaking primary literature. If you got your Mill from a book edited by Nagel go look and see where Negal got his Mill.
Other than that so far the paper has been good. I just love statistics.