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Replication Is for Meta-Analysis

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 May 2022

Samuel C. Fletcher*
Department of Philosophy and Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, USA


The role or function of experimental and observational replication within empirical science has implications for how replication should be measured. Broadly, there seems to be consensus that replication’s central goal is to confirm or vouchsafe the reliability of scientific findings. I argue that if this consensus is correct, then most of the measures of replication used in the scientific literature are actually poor indicators of this reliability or confirmation. Only meta-analytic measures of replication align functionally with the goals of replication. I conclude by addressing some objections to meta-analysis.

Symposia Paper
© The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Philosophy of Science Association

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