Evidence

Edited by Christopher Michael Cloos (University of California at Santa Barbara)
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  1. Meta-Empirical Support for Eliminative Reasoning.C. D. McCoy - manuscript
    Eliminative reasoning is a method that has been employed in many significant episodes in the history of science. It has also been advocated by some philosophers as an important means for justifying well-established scientific theories. Arguments for how eliminative reasoning is able to do so, however, have generally relied on a too narrow conception of evidence, and have therefore tended to lapse into merely heuristic or pragmatic justifications for their conclusions. This paper shows how a broader conception of evidence not (...)
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  2. Is Inflationary Cosmology “Scientific”?Richard Dawid & C. D. McCoy - manuscript
    We provide a philosophical reconstruction and analysis of the debate on the scientific status of cosmic inflation that has played out in recent years. In a series of critical papers, Ijjas et al. have questioned the scientificality of the current views on cosmic inflation. Proponents of cosmic inflation have in turn defended the scientific credentials of their approach. We argue that, while this defense, narrowly construed, is successful against Ijjas et al., the latter's reasoning does point to a significant epistemic (...)
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  3. Does the Dome Defeat the Material Theory of Induction?William Peden - forthcoming - Erkenntnis.
    According to John D. Norton's Material Theory of Induction, all inductive inferences are justified by local facts, rather than their formal features or some grand principles of nature's uniformity. Recently, Richard Dawid (2015) has offered a challenge to this theory: in an adaptation of Norton's own celebrated "Dome" thought experiment, it seems that there are certain inductions that are intuitively reasonable, but which do not have any local facts that could serve to justify them in accordance with Norton's requirements. Dawid's (...)
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  4. The Role of Source Reliability in Belief Polarisation.Leah Henderson & Alexander Gebharter - 2021 - Synthese:1-24.
    Psychological studies show that the beliefs of two agents in a hypothesis can diverge even if both agents receive the same evidence. This phenomenon of belief polarisation is often explained by invoking biased assimilation of evidence, where the agents’ prior views about the hypothesis affect the way they process the evidence. We suggest, using a Bayesian model, that even if such influence is excluded, belief polarisation can still arise by another mechanism. This alternative mechanism involves differential weighting of the evidence (...)
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  5. Faith and Reason.Elizabeth Jackson - forthcoming - In Mark A. Lamport (ed.), The Handbook of Philosophy and Religion. Rowman and Littlefield.
    What is faith? How is faith different than belief and hope? Is faith irrational? If not, how can faith go beyond the evidence? This chapter introduces the reader to philosophical questions involving faith and reason. First, we explore a four-part definition of faith. Then, we consider the question of how faith could be rational yet go beyond the evidence.
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  6. Resolutions Against Uniqueness.Kenji Lota & Ulf Hlobil - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-21.
    The paper presents a new argument for epistemic permissivism. The version of permissivism that we defend is a moderate version that applies only to explicit doxastic attitudes. Drawing on Yalcin’s framework for modeling such attitudes, we argue that two fully rational subjects who share all their evidence, prior beliefs, and epistemic standards may still differ in the explicit doxastic attitudes that they adopt. This can happen because two such subjects may be sensitive to different questions. Thus, differing intellectual interests can (...)
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  7. De Re Beliefs and Evidence in Legal Cases.Samuel J. Thomas - 2021 - Dissertation, Arizona State University
    For the past half-century, both jurisprudence and epistemology have been haunted by questions about why individual evidence (i.e., evidence which picks out a specific individual) can sufficiently justify a guilty or liable verdict while bare statistical evidence (i.e., statistical evidence which does not pick out a specific individual) does not sufficiently justify such a verdict. This thesis examines three popular justifications for such a disparity in verdicts – Judith Jarvis Thomson’s causal account, Enoch et al.’s sensitivity account, and Sarah Moss’ (...)
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  8. Beliefs and Biases.Shannon Spaulding - forthcoming - Synthese:1-20.
    Philosophers are divided over whether implicit biases are beliefs. Critics of the belief model of implicit bias argue that empirical data show that implicit biases are habitual but unstable and not sensitive to evidence. They are not rational or consistently action-guiding like beliefs are supposed to be. In contrast, proponents of the belief model of implicit bias argue that they are stable enough, sensitive to some evidence, and do guide our actions, albeit haphazardly sometimes. With the help of revisionary notions (...)
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  9. Permissivism and the Truth-Connection.Michele Palmira - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-16.
    Permissivism is the view that, sometimes, there is more than one doxastic attitude that is perfectly rationalised by the evidence. Impermissivism is the denial of Permissivism. Several philosophers, with the aim to defend either Impermissivism or Permissivism, have recently discussed the value of (im)permissive rationality. This paper focuses on one kind of value-conferring considerations, stemming from the so-called “truth-connection” enjoyed by rational doxastic attitudes. The paper vindicates the truth-connected value of permissive rationality by pursuing a novel strategy which rests on (...)
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  10. Delusional Evidence-Responsiveness.Carolina Flores - forthcoming - Synthese:1-32.
    Delusions are deeply evidence-resistant. Patients with delusions are unmoved by evidence that is in direct conflict with the delusion, often responding to such evidence by offering obvious, and strange, confabulations. As a consequence, the standard view is that delusions are not evidence-responsive. This claim has been used as a key argumentative wedge in debates on the nature of delusions. Some have taken delusions to be beliefs and argued that this implies that belief is not constitutively evidence-responsive. Others hold fixed the (...)
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  11. Rehabilitating Statistical Evidence.Lewis Ross - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (1):3-23.
    Recently, the practice of deciding legal cases on purely statistical evidence has been widely criticised. Many feel uncomfortable with finding someone guilty on the basis of bare probabilities, even though the chance of error might be stupendously small. This is an important issue: with the rise of DNA profiling, courts are increasingly faced with purely statistical evidence. A prominent line of argument—endorsed by Blome-Tillmann 2017; Smith 2018; and Littlejohn 2018—rejects the use of such evidence by appealing to epistemic norms that (...)
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  12. Epistemic Defeaters.Tommaso Piazza - forthcoming - Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Article Summary You reach for the bowl with ‘sugar’ written on it only to discover, from the bad taste of your coffee, that it contained salt. Mundane experiences like these show that epistemic justification does not necessarily hold stable across possible changes of information. One can be justified in believing a proposition at a certain time (that the bowl contains sugar) and cease to be justified at a later time, as one enlarges one’s epistemic perspective (as one drinks a salty (...)
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  13. Non-Evidentialist Epistemology: Introduction and Overview.Nikolaj Jang Linding Pedersen & Luca Moretti - 2021 - In Luca Moretti & Nikolaj J. Linding Pedersen (eds.), Non-Evidentialist Epistemology. Leiden: Brill: pp. 1-24.
    This is the introduction to Moretti, Luca and Nikolaj Pedersen (eds), Non-Evidentialist Epistemology. Brill. Contributors: N. Ashton, A. Coliva, J. Kim, K. McCain, A. Meylan, L. Moretti, S. Moruzzi, J. Ohlorst, N. Pedersen, T. Piazza, L. Zanetti.
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  14. Were Lockdowns Justified? A Return to the Facts and Evidence.Philippe van Basshuysen & Lucie White - forthcoming - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal.
    Were governments justified in imposing lockdowns to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic? We argue that a convincing answer to this question is to date wanting, by critically analyzing the factual basis of a recent paper, “How Government Leaders Violated Their Epistemic Duties During the SARS-CoV-2 Crisis” (Winsberg et al. 2020). In their paper, Winsberg et al. argue that government leaders did not, at the beginning of the pandemic, meet the epistemic requirements necessitated to impose lockdowns. We focus on (...)
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  15. Belief, Credence, and Evidence.Elizabeth Jackson - 2020 - Synthese 197 (11):5073-5092.
    I explore how rational belief and rational credence relate to evidence. I begin by looking at three cases where rational belief and credence seem to respond differently to evidence: cases of naked statistical evidence, lotteries, and hedged assertions. I consider an explanation for these cases, namely, that one ought not form beliefs on the basis of statistical evidence alone, and raise worries for this view. Then, I suggest another view that explains how belief and credence relate to evidence. My view (...)
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  16. Dinosaurs and Reasonable Disagreement.Margaret Greta Turnbull - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Research.
    Most philosophical discussions of disagreement have used idealized disagreements to draw conclusions about the nature of disagreement. I closely examine an actual, non-idealized disagreement in dinosaur paleobiology and show that it can not only teach us about the features of some of our real world disagreements, but can help us to argue for the possibility of reasonable real world disagreement.
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  17. Evidence, Knowledge, and Gas Gauges.Britton Watson - manuscript
    A brief discussion of Hawthorne's objection to evidence-first knowledge. I offer an argument towards evidence-first contextualism.
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  18. Conditionals All the Way Down.Matheus Silva - manuscript
    It is usually accepted that unconditional statements are clearer and less problematic than conditional ones. This article goes against this popular belief by advancing the contrarian hypothesis that all unconditional statements can be reduced to conditional ones due to the way our assumptions support our assertions. In fact, considering the coherentist process by which most of our different beliefs mutually support themselves, the only genuine example of unconditional statements are cases of self-justified beliefs, but these examples are controversial and few (...)
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  19. Extrapolating From Laboratory Behavioral Research on Nonhuman Primates Is Unjustified.Parker Crutchfield - 2020 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 37 (4):628-645.
    Conducting research on animals is supposed to be valuable because it provides information on how human mechanisms work. But for the use of animal models to be ethically justified, it must be epistemically justified. The inference from an observation about an animal model to a conclusion about humans must be warranted for the use of animals to be moral. When researchers infer from animals to humans, it’s an extrapolation. Often non-human primates are used as animal models in laboratory behavioral research. (...)
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  20. Recent Work on the Proof Paradox.Lewis D. Ross - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (6).
    Recent years have seen fresh impetus brought to debates about the proper role of statistical evidence in the law. Recent work largely centres on a set of puzzles known as the ‘proof paradox’. While these puzzles may initially seem academic, they have important ramifications for the law: raising key conceptual questions about legal proof, and practical questions about DNA evidence. This article introduces the proof paradox, why we should care about it, and new work attempting to resolve it.
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  21. How Philosophy Bears on Covid-19.Thaddeus Metz - 2020 - South African Journal of Science 116 (7/8):1.
    A short reflection on respects in which philosophers are particularly, if not uniquely, well positioned to address certain ethical and epistemological controversies pertaining to the coronavirus.
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  22. Précis of The Unity of Perception.Susanna Schellenberg - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (3):715-720.
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  23. Sceptical Theism and the Paradox of Evil.Luis R. G. Oliveira - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (2):319-333.
    Given plausible assumptions about the nature of evidence and undercutting defeat, many believe that the force of the evidential problem of evil depends on sceptical theism’s being false: if evil is...
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  24. Necessary and Sufficient Conditions Are Converse Relations.Matheus Silva - manuscript
    According to the so-called ‘standard theory’ of conditions, the conditionship relation is converse, that is, if A is a sufficient condition for B, B is a necessary condition for A. This theory faces well-known counterexamples that appeal to both causal and other asymmetric considerations. I show that these counterexamples lose their plausibility once we clarify two key components of the standard theory: that to satisfy a condition is to instantiate a property, and that what is usually called ‘conditionship relation’ is (...)
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  25. The Big Four - Their Interdependence and Limitations.Matheus Silva - manuscript
    Four intuitions are recurrent and influential in theories about conditionals: the Ramsey’s test, the Adams’ Thesis, the Equation, and the robustness requirement. For simplicity’s sake, I call these intuitions ‘the big four’. My aim is to show that: (1) the big four are interdependent; (2) they express our inferential dispositions to employ a conditional on a modus ponens; (3) the disposition to employ conditionals on a modus ponens doesn’t have the epistemic significance that is usually attributed to it, since the (...)
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  26. A Paradox of Evidential Equivalence.David Builes - 2020 - Mind 129 (513):113-127.
    Our evidence can be about different subject matters. In fact, necessarily equivalent pieces of evidence can be about different subject matters. Does the hyperintensionality of ‘aboutness’ engender any hyperintensionality at the level of rational credence? In this paper, I present a case which seems to suggest that the answer is ‘yes’. In particular, I argue that our intuitive notions of independent evidence and inadmissible evidence are sensitive to aboutness in a hyperintensional way. We are thus left with a paradox. While (...)
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  27. ‘Data’ in the Royal Society's Philosophical Transactions, 1665–1886.Chris Meyns - 2019 - Notes and Records: The Royal Society Journal of the History of Science.
    Was there a concept of data before the so-called ‘data revolution’? This paper contributes to the history of the concept of data by investigating uses of the term ‘data’ in texts of the Royal Society's Philosophical Transactions for the period 1665–1886. It surveys how the notion enters the journal as a technical term in mathematics, and charts how over time it expands into various other scientific fields, including Earth sciences, physics and chemistry. The paper argues that in these texts the (...)
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  28. Review of P. Copan and Craig, W. (Eds.) The Kalām Cosmological Argument Volume Two: Scientific Evidence for the Beginning of the Universe. [REVIEW]Graham Oppy - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 11 (3):225-229.
    This is a commissioned review of Copan, P. and Craig, W. The Kalām Cosmological Argument Volume Two: Scientific Evidence for the Beginning of the Universe New York: Bloomsbury, US$172.50, ISBN 978-1-50-133587-7.
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  29. Belief and Credence: Why the Attitude-Type Matters.Elizabeth Jackson - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (9):2477-2496.
    In this paper, I argue that the relationship between belief and credence is a central question in epistemology. This is because the belief-credence relationship has significant implications for a number of current epistemological issues. I focus on five controversies: permissivism, disagreement, pragmatic encroachment, doxastic voluntarism, and the relationship between doxastic attitudes and prudential rationality. I argue that each debate is constrained in particular ways, depending on whether the relevant attitude is belief or credence. This means that epistemologists should pay attention (...)
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  30. The Epistemic Superiority of Experiment to Simulation.Sherrilyn Roush - 2018 - Synthese 195 (11):4883-4906.
    This paper defends the naïve thesis that the method of experiment has per se an epistemic superiority over the method of computer simulation, a view that has been rejected by some philosophers writing about simulation, and whose grounds have been hard to pin down by its defenders. I further argue that this superiority does not come from the experiment’s object being materially similar to the target in the world that the investigator is trying to learn about, as both sides of (...)
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  31. Reasons, Evidence, and Explanations.John Brunero - 2018 - In Daniel Star (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 321-341.
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  32. Can Experience Fulfill the Many Roles of Evidence?Logan Paul Gage - 2018 - Quaestiones Disputatae 8 (2):87-111.
    It is still a live question in epistemology and philosophy of science as to what exactly evidence is. In my view, evidence consists in experiences called “seemings.” This view is a version of the phenomenal conception of evidence, the position that evidence consists in nonfactive mental states with propositional content. This conception is opposed by sense-data theorists, disjunctivists, and those who think evidence consists in physical objects or publicly observable states of affairs—call it the courtroom conception of evidence. Thomas Kelly (...)
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  33. 50 Years of Successful Predictive Modeling Should Be Enough: Lessons for Philosophy of Science.Michael Bishop & J. D. Trout - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (S3):S197-S208.
    Our aim in this paper is to bring the woefully neglected literature on predictive modeling to bear on some central questions in the philosophy of science. The lesson of this literature is straightforward: For a very wide range of prediction problems, statistical prediction rules (SPRs), often rules that are very easy to implement, make predictions than are as reliable as, and typically more reliable than, human experts. We will argue that the success of SPRs forces us to reconsider our views (...)
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Evidence and Knowledge
  1. Even If It Might Not Be True, Evidence Cannot Be False.Clayton Littlejohn & Julien Dutant - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-27.
    Internalists about evidence (‘internalists’ hereafter) believe that internal duplicates necessarily have the same evidence. While many internalists have held that our evidence is constituted by the states of mind we share in common with our internal duplicates (e.g., our experiences, apparent memories, intuitions, etc.), worldly internalists claim that our evidence includes (non-trivial) propositions about our environment. They think that when we have the experience as of, say, a red, bulgy tomato, our evidence might include propositions that will be true iff (...)
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  2. Evidential Internalism and Evidential Externalism.Giada Fratantonio - forthcoming - In Maria Lasonen-Aarnio & Clayton M. Littlejohn (eds.), The Routledge Handbook for The Philosophy of Evidence.
    According to the ‘Evidential Internalists’, one’s evidence supervenes on one’s non-factive mental states. ‘Evidential Externalists’ deny that, and allow for external factors to determine what evidence one has. After clarifying what Evidential Internalism and Evidential Externalism entail, and what they are silent on, this chapter provides an opinionated overview of the main arguments and motivations behind Evidential Internalism and Evidential Externalism. It concludes that Evidential Externalism is a more promising view.
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  3. Justice in Epistemic Gaps: The ‘Proof Paradox’ Revisited.Lewis D. Ross - forthcoming - Philosophical Issues.
    This paper defends the heretical view that, at least in some cases, we ought to assign legal liability based on purely statistical evidence. The argument draws on prominent civil law litigation concerning pharmaceutical negligence and asbestos-poisoning. The overall aim is to illustrate moral pitfalls that result from supposing that it is never appropriate to rely on bare statistics when settling a legal dispute.
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  4. Personal Identity and Its Properties.Eldar Sarajlic - 2021 - Philosophy and Public Issues - Filosofia E Questioni Pubbliche 10 (2):193-233.
    In this paper, I offer a conceptual framework for understanding and evaluating personal identity claims. I analyze ontological and political properties of personal identity separately, arguing that their conceptual (if not practical) separation is necessary for a proper evaluation of different identity claims. I use probability theory to bypass some of the logical difficulties in conceptualizing personal identity and discuss a case of transitional identification. Finally, I outline the guidelines for a justified liberal policy of recognition.
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  5. No Infelicity for the Infallibilist.Giada Fratantonio - 2021 - Theoria.
    According to Probability 1 Infallibilism (henceforth, Infallibilism), if one knows that p, then the probability of p given one’s evidence is 1. Jessica Brown (2018, 2013) has recently argued that Infallibilism leads to scepticism unless the infallibilist also endorses the claim that if one knows that p, then p is part of one’s evidence for p. By doing that, however, the infalliblist has to explain why it is infelicitous to cite p as evidence for itself. And yet, the infallibilist doesn’t (...)
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  6. Evidential Nihilism.P. D. Magnus - 2021 - Analysis 80 (4):674-683.
    A considerable literature has grown up around the claim of Uniqueness, according to which evidence rationally determines belief. It is opposed to Permissivism, according to which evidence underdetermines belief. This paper highlights an overlooked third possibility, according to which there is no rational doxastic attitude. I call this 'Nihilism'. I argue that adherents of the other two positions ought to reject it but that it might, nevertheless, obtain at least sometimes.
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  7. A Cumulative Case Argument for Infallibilism.Nevin Climenhaga - 2021 - In Christos Kyriacou & Kevin Wallbridge (eds.), Skeptical Invariantism Reconsidered. Routledge.
    I present a cumulative case for the thesis that we only know propositions that are certain for us. I argue that this thesis can easily explain the truth of eight plausible claims about knowledge: -/- (1) There is a qualitative difference between knowledge and non-knowledge. (2) Knowledge is valuable in a way that non-knowledge is not. (3) Subjects in Gettier cases do not have knowledge. (4) If S knows that P, P is part of S’s evidence. (5) If S knows (...)
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  8. Epistemic Internalism and Testimonial Justification.Jonathan Egeland - 2020 - Episteme 17 (4):458-474.
    ABSTRACTAccording to epistemic internalists, facts about justification supervene upon one's internal reasons for believing certain propositions. Epistemic externalists, on the other hand, deny this. More specifically, externalists think that the supervenience base of justification isn't exhausted by one's internal reasons for believing certain propositions. In the last decade, the internalism–externalism debate has made its mark on the epistemology of testimony. The proponent of internalism about the epistemology of testimony claims that a hearer's testimonial justification for believing that p supervenes upon (...)
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  9. ¿Cómo retractarse en ciencia?Quan-Hoang Vuong - 2020 - Investigación y Ciencia 45 (530):1-2.
    La comunidad científica debe acordar cuál es la información esencial que hay que comunicar al retirar un artículo.
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  10. False Beliefs and Misleading Evidence.Marc-Kevin Daoust - 2021 - Theoria 87 (3):520-541.
    False beliefs and misleading evidence have striking similarities. In many regards, they are both epistemically bad or undesirable. Yet, some epistemologists think that, while one’s evidence is normative (i.e., one’s available evidence affects the doxastic states one is epistemically permitted or required to have), one’s false beliefs cannot be evidence and cannot be normative. They have offered various motivations for treating false beliefs differently from true misleading beliefs, and holding that only the latter may be evidence. I argue that this (...)
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  11. Knowledge, Evidence, and Naked Statistics.Sherrilyn Roush - manuscript
    Many who think that naked statistical evidence alone is inadequate for a trial verdict think that use of probability is the problem, and something other than probability – knowledge, full belief, causal relations – is the solution. I argue that the issue of whether naked statistical evidence is weak can be formulated within the probabilistic idiom, as the question whether likelihoods or only posterior probabilities should be taken into account in our judgment of a case. This question also identifies a (...)
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  12. Evidence and Inductive Inference.Nevin Climenhaga - 2021 - In Maria Lasonen-Aarnio & Clayton Littlejohn (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Evidence. Routledge.
    This chapter presents a typology of the different kinds of inductive inferences we can draw from our evidence, based on the explanatory relationship between evidence and conclusion. Drawing on the literature on graphical models of explanation, I divide inductive inferences into (a) downwards inferences, which proceed from cause to effect, (b) upwards inferences, which proceed from effect to cause, and (c) sideways inferences, which proceed first from effect to cause and then from that cause to an additional effect. I further (...)
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  13. Knowledge Attributions and Lottery Cases: A Review and New Evidence.John Turri - forthcoming - In Igor Douven (ed.), The lottery problem. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
    I review recent empirical findings on knowledge attributions in lottery cases and report a new experiment that advances our understanding of the topic. The main novel finding is that people deny knowledge in lottery cases because of an underlying qualitative difference in how they process probabilistic information. “Outside” information is generic and pertains to a base rate within a population. “Inside” information is specific and pertains to a particular item’s propensity. When an agent receives information that 99% of all lottery (...)
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  14. Relevance and Risk: How the Relevant Alternatives Framework Models the Epistemology of Risk.Georgi Gardiner - forthcoming - Synthese:1-31.
    The epistemology of risk examines how risks bear on epistemic properties. A common framework for examining the epistemology of risk holds that strength of evidential support is best modelled as numerical probability given the available evidence. In this essay I develop and motivate a rival ‘relevant alternatives’ framework for theorising about the epistemology of risk. I describe three loci for thinking about the epistemology of risk. The first locus concerns consequences of relying on a belief for action, where those consequences (...)
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  15. Sleeping Beauty's Evidence.Jeffrey Sanford Russell - forthcoming - In Maria Lasonen-Aarnio & Clayton M. Littlejohn (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Evidence. Routledge.
    What degrees of belief does Sleeping Beauty's evidence support? That depends.
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  16. Pritchard’s Reasons.Clayton Littlejohn - 2016 - Journal of Philosophical Research 41:201-219.
    My contribution to the author meets critics discussion of Pritchard's _Epistemological Disjunctivism_. In this paper, I examine some of the possible motivations for epistemological disjunctivism and look at some of the costs associated with the view. While Pritchard's view seems to be that our visual beliefs constitute knowledge because they're based on reasons, I argue that the claim that visual beliefs are based on reasons or evidence hasn't been sufficiently motivated. In the end I suggest that we'll get all the (...)
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  17. New Work For Certainty.Bob Beddor - 2020 - Philosophers' Imprint 20 (8).
    This paper argues that we should assign certainty a central place in epistemology. While epistemic certainty played an important role in the history of epistemology, recent epistemology has tended to dismiss certainty as an unattainable ideal, focusing its attention on knowledge instead. I argue that this is a mistake. Attending to certainty attributions in the wild suggests that much of our everyday knowledge qualifies, in appropriate contexts, as certain. After developing a semantics for certainty ascriptions, I put certainty to explanatory (...)
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1 — 50 / 231