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  1. Collective (Telic) Virtue Epistemology.J. Adam Carter - 2020 - In Mark Alfano, Jeroen de Ridder & Colin Klein (eds.), Social Virtue Epistemology. London: Routledge.
    A new way to transpose the virtue epistemologist’s ‘knowledge = apt belief’ template to the collective level, as a thesis about group knowledge, is developed. In particular, it is shown how specifically judgmental belief can be realised at the collective level in a way that is structurally analogous, on a telic theory of epistemic normativity (e.g., Sosa 2020), to how it is realised at the individual level—viz., through a (collective) intentional attempt to get it right aptly (whether p) by alethically (...)
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  • In Defence of the Modal Account of Legal Risk.Duncan Pritchard - 2022 - Synthese 200 (4):1-16.
    This paper offers an articulation and defence of the modal account of legal risk in light of a range of objections that have been proposed against this view in the recent literature. It is argued that these objections all trade on a failure to distinguish between the modal nature of risk more generally, and the application of this modal account to particular decision-making contexts, such as legal contexts, where one must rely on a restricted body of information. It is argued (...)
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  • Legal proof and statistical conjunctions.Lewis D. Ross - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (6):2021-2041.
    A question, long discussed by legal scholars, has recently provoked a considerable amount of philosophical attention: ‘Is it ever appropriate to base a legal verdict on statistical evidence alone?’ Many philosophers who have considered this question reject legal reliance on bare statistics, even when the odds of error are extremely low. This paper develops a puzzle for the dominant theories concerning why we should eschew bare statistics. Namely, there seem to be compelling scenarios in which there are multiple sources of (...)
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  • 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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  • 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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  • Justice in Epistemic Gaps: The ‘Proof Paradox’ Revisited.Lewis Ross - 2021 - Philosophical Issues 31 (1):315-333.
    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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  • Knowledge and Decision: Introduction to the Synthese Topical Collection.Moritz Schulz, Patricia Rich, Jakob Koscholke & Roman Heil - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-13.
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  • #MeToo & the Role of Outright Belief.Alexandra Lloyd - 2022 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 25 (2):181-197.
    In this paper, I provide an account of the wrong that is done to women when everyday people fail to believe allegations of sexual assault made by women. I argue that an everyday person wrongs both the accuser and women causally distant from the accuser when they fail to believe the accuser’s allegation. First, I argue that there are responses that we, as everyday members of society, owe to victims of sexual assault. A condition enabling everyday people to respond in (...)
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  • Statistical Resentment, Or: What’s Wrong with Acting, Blaming, and Believing on the Basis of Statistics Alone.David Enoch & Levi Spectre - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):5687-5718.
    Statistical evidence—say, that 95% of your co-workers badmouth each other—can never render resenting your colleague appropriate, in the way that other evidence (say, the testimony of a reliable friend) can. The problem of statistical resentment is to explain why. We put the problem of statistical resentment in several wider contexts: The context of the problem of statistical evidence in legal theory; the epistemological context—with problems like the lottery paradox for knowledge, epistemic impurism and doxastic wrongdoing; and the context of a (...)
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  • Does Legal Epistemology Rest on a Mistake? On Fetishism, Two‐Tier System Design, and Conscientious Fact‐Finding.David Enoch, Talia Fisher & Levi Spectre - 2021 - Philosophical Issues 31 (1):85-103.
    Philosophical Issues, Volume 31, Issue 1, Page 85-103, October 2021.
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  • Knowledge is Believing Something Because It's True.Tomas Bogardus & Will Perrin - 2022 - Episteme 19 (2):178-196.
    Modalists think that knowledge requires forming your belief in a “modally stable” way: using a method that wouldn't easily go wrong, or using a method that wouldn't have given you this belief had it been false. Recent Modalist projects from Justin Clarke-Doane and Dan Baras defend a principle they call “Modal Security,” roughly: if evidence undermines your belief, then it must give you a reason to doubt the safety or sensitivity of your belief. Another recent Modalist project from Carlotta Pavese (...)
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  • Reconsidering the Rule of Consideration: Probabilistic Knowledge and Legal Proof.Tim Smartt - 2022 - Episteme 19 (2):303-318.
    In this paper, I provide an argument for rejecting Sarah Moss's recent account of legal proof. Moss's account is attractive in a number of ways. It provides a new version of a knowledge-based theory of legal proof that elegantly resolves a number of puzzles about mere statistical evidence in the law. Moreover, the account promises to have attractive implications for social and moral philosophy, in particular about the impermissibility of racial profiling and other harmful kinds of statistical generalisation. In this (...)
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  • The Disvalue of Knowledge.David Papineau - 2019 - Synthese 198 (6):5311-5332.
    I argue that the concept of knowledge is a relic of a bygone age, erroneously supposed to do no harm. I illustrate this claim by showing how a concern with knowledge distorts the use of statistical evidence in criminal courts, and then generalize the point to show that this concern hampers our enterprises across the board and not only in legal contexts.
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  • Meta‐Skepticism.Risberg Olle - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    The epistemological debate about radical skepticism has focused on whether our beliefs in apparently obvious claims, such as the claim that we have hands, amount to knowledge. Arguably, however, our concept of knowledge is only one of many knowledge-like concepts that there are. If this is correct, it follows that even if our beliefs satisfy our concept of knowledge, there are many other relevantly similar concepts that they fail to satisfy. And this might give us pause. After all, we might (...)
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  • Hope for the Evolutionary Debunker: How Evolutionary Debunking Arguments and Arguments from Moral Disagreement Can Join Forces.Folke Tersman & Olle Risberg - forthcoming - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-17.
    Facts about moral disagreement and human evolution have both been said to exclude the possibility of moral knowledge, but the question of how these challenges interact has largely gone unaddressed. The paper aims to present and defend a novel version of the evolutionary “debunking” argument for moral skepticism that appeals to both types of considerations. This argument has several advantages compared to more familiar versions. The standard debunking strategy is to argue that evolutionary accounts of moral beliefs generate skeptical implications (...)
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  • Knowledge, Evidence, and Naked Statistics.Sherrilyn Roush - forthcoming - In Externalism about Knowledge. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    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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  • When Statistical Evidence is Not Specific Enough.Marcello Di Bello - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):12251-12269.
    Many philosophers have pointed out that statistical evidence, or at least some forms of it, lack desirable epistemic or non-epistemic properties, and that this should make us wary of litigations in which the case against the defendant rests in whole or in part on statistical evidence. Others have responded that such broad reservations about statistical evidence are overly restrictive since appellate courts have expressed nuanced views about statistical evidence. In an effort to clarify and reconcile, I put forward an interpretive (...)
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  • No Reasons to Believe the False.Javier González De Prado Salas - 2019 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 100 (3):703-722.
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  • Eleven Angry Men.Clayton Littlejohn - 2021 - Philosophical Issues 31 (1):227-239.
    While many of us would not want to abandon the requirement that a defendant can only be found guilty of a serious criminal offence by a unanimous jury, we should not expect epistemology to give us the resources we need for justifying this requirement. The doubts that might prevent jurors from reaching unanimity do not show that, say, the BARD standard has not been met. Even if it were true, as some have suggested, that rationality requires that a jury composed (...)
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  • No Reasons to Believe the False.Javier González Prado - 2019 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 100 (3):703-722.
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  • N-1 Guilty Men.Clayton Littlejohn & Julien Dutant - forthcoming - In The Future of Normativity. Oxford University Press.
    We discuss the difficulties that arise for standard reasons-first theories by looking at a case in which an agent who seems initially to know that n individuals are responsible for wrongdoing learns that n-1 are guilty. On the one hand, if this agent can retain their initial knowledge, it seems the agent should be able to believe in at least n-1 cases that the relevant subject is culpable, blame this agent for wrongdoing, and punish accordingly. Since we're not primarily interested (...)
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  • Belief, Credence and Statistical Evidence.Davide Fassio & Jie Gao - 2020 - Theoria 86 (4):500-527.
    According to the Rational Threshold View, a rational agent believes p if and only if her credence in p is equal to or greater than a certain threshold. One of the most serious challenges for this view is the problem of statistical evidence: statistical evidence is often not sufficient to make an outright belief rational, no matter how probable the target proposition is given such evidence. This indicates that rational belief is not as sensitive to statistical evidence as rational credence. (...)
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  • Knowledge and Legal Proof.Sarah Moss - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Epistemology.
    Existing discussions of legal proof address a host of apparently disparate questions: What does it take to prove a fact beyond a reasonable doubt? Why is the reasonable doubt standard notoriously elusive, sometimes considered by courts to be impossible to define? Can the standard of proof by a preponderance of the evidence be defined in terms of probability thresholds? Why is statistical evidence often insufficient to meet the burden of proof? -/- This paper defends an account of proof that addresses (...)
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  • Legal Evidence and Knowledge.Georgi Gardiner - forthcoming - In Clayton Littlejohn & Maria Lasonen Aarnio (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Evidence.
    This essay is an accessible introduction to the proof paradox in legal epistemology. -/- In 1902 the Supreme Judicial Court of Maine filed an influential legal verdict. The judge claimed that in order to find a defendant culpable, the plaintiff “must adduce evidence other than a majority of chances”. The judge thereby claimed that bare statistical evidence does not suffice for legal proof. -/- In this essay I first motivate the claim that bare statistical evidence does not suffice for legal (...)
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  • Evidence, Risk, and Proof Paradoxes: Pessimism About the Epistemic Project.Giada Fratantonio - 2021 - International Journal of Evidence and Proof:online first.
    Why can testimony alone be enough for findings of liability? Why statistical evidence alone can’t? These questions underpin the “Proof Paradox” (Redmayne 2008, Enoch et al. 2012). Many epistemologists have attempted to explain this paradox from a purely epistemic perspective. I call it the “Epistemic Project”. In this paper, I take a step back from this recent trend. Stemming from considerations about the nature and role of standards of proof, I define three requirements that any successful account in line with (...)
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  • Privacy rights and ‘naked’ statistical evidence.Lauritz Aastrup Munch - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (11):3777-3795.
    Do privacy rights restrict what is permissible to infer about others based on statistical evidence? This paper replies affirmatively by defending the following symmetry: there is not necessarily a morally relevant difference between directly appropriating people’s private information—say, by using an X-ray device on their private safes—and using predictive technologies to infer the same content, at least in cases where the evidence has a roughly similar probative value. This conclusion is of theoretical interest because a comprehensive justification of the thought (...)
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  • More on Normic Support and the Criminal Standard of Proof.Martin Smith - 2021 - Mind 130 (519):943-960.
    In this paper I respond to Marcello Di Bello’s criticisms of the ‘normic account’ of the criminal standard of proof. In so doing, I further elaborate on what the normic account predicts about certain significant legal categories of evidence, including DNA and fingerprint evidence and eyewitness identifications.
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  • Do We Really Need a Knowledge-Based Decision Theory?Davide Fassio & Jie Gao - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):7031-7059.
    The paper investigates what type of motivation can be given for adopting a knowledge-based decision theory. KBDT seems to have several advantages over competing theories of rationality. It is commonly argued that this theory would naturally fit with the intuitive idea that being rational is doing what we take to be best given what we know, an idea often supported by appeal to ordinary folk appraisals. Moreover, KBDT seems to strike a perfect balance between the problematic extremes of subjectivist and (...)
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  • Explaining the Justificatory Asymmetry Between Statistical and Individualized Evidence.Renee Bolinger - forthcoming - In Jon Robson & Zachary Hoskins (eds.), The Social Epistemology of Legal Trials. Routledge. pp. 60-76.
    In some cases, there appears to be an asymmetry in the evidential value of statistical and more individualized evidence. For example, while I may accept that Alex is guilty based on eyewitness testimony that is 80% likely to be accurate, it does not seem permissible to do so based on the fact that 80% of a group that Alex is a member of are guilty. In this paper I suggest that rather than reflecting a deep defect in statistical evidence, this (...)
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  • Epistemology and the Law: Why There is No Epistemic Mileage in Legal Cases.Marvin Backes - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (9):2759-2778.
    The primary aim of this paper is to defend the Lockean View—the view that a belief is epistemically justified iff it is highly probable—against a new family of objections. According to these objections, broadly speaking, the Lockean View ought to be abandoned because it is incompatible with, or difficult to square with, our judgments surrounding certain legal cases. I distinguish and explore three different versions of these objections—The Conviction Argument, the Argument from Assertion and Practical Reasoning, and the Comparative Probabilities (...)
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  • Knowledge, Justification, Belief, and Suspension.Clayton Littlejohn - forthcoming - Philosophical Topics.
    In this paper, I want to discuss a problem that arises when we try to understand the connections between justification, knowledge, and suspension. The problem arises because some prima facie plausible claims about knowledge and the justification for judging and suspending are difficult to reconcile with the possibility of a kind of knowledge or apt belief that a thinker cannot aptly judge to be within her reach. I shall argue that if we try (as we should) to accommodate the possibility (...)
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  • Justification, knowledge, and normality.Clayton Littlejohn & Julien Dutant - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (6):1593-1609.
    There is much to like about the idea that justification should be understood in terms of normality or normic support (Smith 2016, Goodman and Salow 2018). The view does a nice job explaining why we should think that lottery beliefs differ in justificatory status from mundane perceptual or testimonial beliefs. And it seems to do that in a way that is friendly to a broadly internalist approach to justification. In spite of its attractions, we think that the normic support view (...)
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  • Legal Burdens of Proof and Statistical Evidence.Georgi Gardiner - forthcoming - In James Chase & David Coady (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Applied Epistemology. Routledge.
    In order to perform certain actions – such as incarcerating a person or revoking parental rights – the state must establish certain facts to a particular standard of proof. These standards – such as preponderance of evidence and beyond reasonable doubt – are often interpreted as likelihoods or epistemic confidences. Many theorists construe them numerically; beyond reasonable doubt, for example, is often construed as 90 to 95% confidence in the guilt of the defendant. -/- A family of influential cases suggests (...)
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