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  1. Sensitivity Unmotivated.Haicheng Zhao - 2022 - Acta Analytica 37 (4):507-517.
    Sensitivity account of knowledge states that if one knows that _p_ (via method M), then were _p_ false, one would not believe that _p_ via M. This account has been highly controversial. However, even its critics tend to agree that the account enjoys an important advantage of solving the Gettier problem—that is, it explains why Gettierized beliefs are not knowledge. In this paper, I argue that this purported advantage of sensitivity is merely illusory. The account cannot, in principle, solve the (...)
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  • Can Self-determined Actions be Predictable?Amit Pundik - 2019 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 15 (2):121-140.
    This paper examines Lockie’s theory of libertarian self-determinism in light of the question of prediction: “Can we know (or justifiably believe) how an agent will act, or is likely to act, freely?” I argue that, when Lockie's theory is taken to its full logical extent, free actions cannot be predicted to any degree of accuracy because, even if they have probabilities, these cannot be known. However, I suggest that this implication of his theory is actually advantageous, because it is able (...)
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  • The safe, the sensitive, and the severely tested: a unified account.Georgi Gardiner & Brian Zaharatos - 2022 - Synthese 200 (5):1-33.
    This essay presents a unified account of safety, sensitivity, and severe testing. S’s belief is safe iff, roughly, S could not easily have falsely believed p, and S’s belief is sensitive iff were p false S would not believe p. These two conditions are typically viewed as rivals but, we argue, they instead play symbiotic roles. Safety and sensitivity are both valuable epistemic conditions, and the relevant alternatives framework provides the scaffolding for their mutually supportive roles. The relevant alternatives condition (...)
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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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  • Relevance and risk: How the relevant alternatives framework models the epistemology of risk.Georgi Gardiner - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):481-511.
    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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  • A modal theory of discrimination.Guido Melchior - 2021 - Synthese 198 (11):10661-10684.
    Discrimination is a central epistemic capacity but typically, theories of discrimination only use discrimination as a vehicle for analyzing knowledge. This paper aims at developing a self-contained theory of discrimination. Internalist theories of discrimination fail since there is no compelling correlation between discriminatory capacities and experiences. Moreover, statistical reliabilist theories are also flawed. Only a modal theory of discrimination is promising. Versions of sensitivity and adherence that take particular alternatives into account provide necessary and sufficient conditions on discrimination. Safety in (...)
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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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  • Recent work on the proof paradox.Lewis D. Ross - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (6):e12667.
    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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  • 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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  • Profiling, Neutrality, and Social Equality.Lewis Ross - 2022 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 100 (4):808-824.
    I argue that traditional views on which beliefs are subject only to purely epistemic assessment can reject demographic profiling, even when based on seemingly robust evidence. This is because the moral failures involved in demographic profiling can be located in the decision not to suspend judgment, rather than supposing that beliefs themselves are a locus of moral evaluation. A key moral reason to suspend judgment when faced with adverse demographic evidence is to promote social equality—this explains why positive profiling is (...)
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  • Knowledge, individualised evidence and luck.Dario Mortini - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (12):3791-3815.
    The notion of individualised evidence holds the key to solve the puzzle of statistical evidence, but there’s still no consensus on how exactly to define it. To make progress on the problem, epistemologists have proposed various accounts of individualised evidence in terms of causal or modal anti-luck conditions on knowledge like appropriate causation, sensitivity and safety. In this paper, I show that each of these fails as satisfactory anti-luck condition, and that such failure lends abductive support to the following conclusion: (...)
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  • What it means to respect individuality.Xiaofei Liu & Ye Liang - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (8):2579-2598.
    Using pure statistical evidence about a group to judge a particular member of that group is often found objectionable. One natural explanation of why this is objectionable appeals to the moral notion of respecting individuality: to properly respect individuality, we need individualized evidence, not pure statistical evidence. However, this explanation has been criticized on the ground that there is no fundamental difference between the so-called “individualized evidence” and “pure statistical evidence”. This paper defends the respecting-individuality explanation by developing an account (...)
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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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  • Teaching & Learning Guide for: The Relationship Between Belief and Credence.Elizabeth G. Jackson - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (6):e12668.
    This guide accompanies the following article(s): Jackson, E., Philosophy Compass 15/6 (2020) pp. 1-13 10.1111/phc3.12668.x.
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  • Modal Security.Justin Clarke-Doane & Dan Baras - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (1):162-183.
    Modal Security is an increasingly discussed proposed necessary condition on undermining defeat. Modal Security says, roughly, that if evidence undermines (rather than rebuts) one’s belief, then one gets reason to doubt the belief's safety or sensitivity. The primary interest of the principle is that it seems to entail that influential epistemological arguments, including Evolutionary Debunking Arguments against moral realism and the Benacerraf-Field Challenge for mathematical realism, are unsound. The purpose of this paper is to critically examine Modal Security in detail. (...)
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  • Encroachment on Emotion.James Fritz - 2022 - Episteme 19 (4):515-533.
    This paper introduces a novel form of pragmatic encroachment: one that makes a difference to the status of emotion rather than the status of belief. I begin by isolating a distinctive standard in terms of which we can evaluate emotion – one sometimes called “subjective fittingness,” “epistemic justification,” or “warrant.” I then show how this standard for emotion could face a kind of pragmatic encroachment importantly similar to the more familiar encroachment on epistemic standards for belief. Encroachment on warranted emotion (...)
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  • Sensitivity, safety, and admissibility.Zoë A. Johnson King - 2022 - Synthese 200 (6):1-22.
    This paper concerns recent attempts to use the epistemological notions of sensitivity and safety to shed light on legal debates about so-called “bare” statistical evidence. These notions might be thought to explain either the outright inadmissibility of such evidence or its inadequacy for a finding of fact—two different phenomena that are often discussed in tandem, but that, I insist, we do better to keep separate. I argue that neither sensitivity nor safety can hope to explain statistical evidence’s inadmissibility, since neither (...)
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  • Knowledge‐norms in a common‐law crucible.Cosim Sayid - 2021 - Ratio 34 (4):261-276.
    Not only is the common-law standard of proof of mere likelihood in ordinary civil cases justifiable, but its justifiability supports the conclusion that there is no general norm that one must assert that p only if p is known. An argument by Voltaire is formalized to show that the mere likelihood standard is rational. It is also shown that no applicable norm preempts the common-law rule. An objection that takes the pertinent knowledge-norm to be honoured in the breach is rejected (...)
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  • Can Pragmatists Be Moderate?Alex Worsnip - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (3):531-558.
    In discussions of whether and how pragmatic considerations can make a difference to what one ought to believe, two sets of cases feature. The first set, which dominates the debate about pragmatic reasons for belief, is exemplified by cases of being financially bribed to believe (or withhold from believing) something. The second set, which dominates the debate about pragmatic encroachment on epistemic justification, is exemplified by cases where acting on a belief rashly risks some disastrous outcome if the belief turns (...)
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  • The Policy of Evidence.Giovanni Tuzet - 2021 - Theoria 87 (6):1418-1443.
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  • When Does Evidence Suffice for Conviction?Martin Smith - 2018 - Mind 127 (508):1193-1218.
    There is something puzzling about statistical evidence. One place this manifests is in the law, where courts are reluctant to base affirmative verdicts on evidence that is purely statistical, in spite of the fact that it is perfectly capable of meeting the standards of proof enshrined in legal doctrine. After surveying some proposed explanations for this, I shall outline a new approach – one that makes use of a notion of normalcy that is distinct from the idea of statistical frequency. (...)
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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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  • 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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  • Knowledge‐norms in a common‐law crucible.Cosim Sayid - 2021 - Ratio 34 (4):261-276.
    Ratio, Volume 34, Issue 4, Page 261-276, December 2021.
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  • Scepticism and Epistemic Angst, Redux.Duncan Pritchard - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 15):3635-3664.
    Part one offers a précis of my book, Epistemic Angst, with particular focus on the themes discussed by the participants in this symposium. Part two then examines a number of topics raised in this symposium in light of this précis. These include how best to understand the ‘non-belief’ account of hinge epistemology, whether we should think of our hinge commitments as being a kind of procedural knowledge, whether hinge epistemology can be used to deal with underdetermination-based scepticism, what the status (...)
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  • Bias and interpersonal skepticism.Robert Pasnau - 2022 - Noûs 56 (1):154-175.
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  • Belief in a Fallen World.Robert Pasnau - 2018 - Res Philosophica 95 (3):531-559.
    In an ideal epistemic world, our beliefs would correspond to our evidence, and our evidence would be bountiful. In the world we live in, however, if we wish to live meaningful lives, other epistemic strategies are necessary. Here I attempt to work out, systematically, the ways in which evidentialism fails us as a guide to belief. This is so preeminently for lives of a religious character, but the point applies more broadly.
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  • Safety vs. sensitivity: Possible worlds and the law of evidence.Michael S. Pardo - 2018 - Legal Theory 24 (1):50-75.
    ABSTRACTThis article defends the importance of epistemic safety for legal evidence. Drawing on discussions of sensitivity and safety in epistemology, the article explores how similar considerations apply to legal proof. In the legal context, sensitivity concerns whether a factual finding would be made if it were false, and safety concerns how easily a factual finding could be false. The article critiques recent claims about the importance of sensitivity for the law of evidence. In particular, this critique argues that sensitivity does (...)
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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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  • 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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  • Subjunctive Credences and Semantic Humility.Sarah Moss - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (2):251-278.
    This paper argues that several leading theories of subjunctive conditionals are incompatible with ordinary intuitions about what credences we ought to have in subjunctive conditionals. In short, our theory of subjunctives should intuitively display semantic humility, i.e. our semantic theory should deliver the truth conditions of sentences without pronouncing on whether those conditions actually obtain. In addition to describing intuitions about subjunctive conditionals, I argue that we can derive these ordinary intuitions from justified premises, and I answer a possible worry (...)
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  • Fairness in Machine Learning: Against False Positive Rate Equality as a Measure of Fairness.Robert Long - 2021 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 19 (1):49-78.
    As machine learning informs increasingly consequential decisions, different metrics have been proposed for measuring algorithmic bias or unfairness. Two popular “fairness measures” are calibration and equality of false positive rate. Each measure seems intuitively important, but notably, it is usually impossible to satisfy both measures. For this reason, a large literature in machine learning speaks of a “fairness tradeoff” between these two measures. This framing assumes that both measures are, in fact, capturing something important. To date, philosophers have seldom examined (...)
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  • An Epistemic Objection to Racial Profiling.Alexandra Lloyd - forthcoming - Tandf: Social Epistemology:1-9.
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  • Neuroprediction, Truth-Sensitivity, and the Law.Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen - 2014 - The Journal of Ethics 18 (2):123-136.
    A recent argument by Nadelhoffer et al. defends a cautious optimism regarding the use of neuroprediction in relation to sentencing based, in part, on an assessment of the offender’s dangerousness. While this optimism may be warranted, Nadelhoffer et al.’s argument fails to justify it. Although neuropredictions provide individualized, non-statistical evidence they will often be problematic for the same reason that basing sentencing on statistical evidence is, to wit, that such predictions are insensitive to the offender’s dangerousness in relevant counterfactual situations (...)
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  • Contractualism and the Death Penalty.Hon-Lam Li - 2017 - Criminal Justice Ethics 36 (2):152-182.
    It is a truism that there are erroneous convictions in criminal trials. Recent legal findings show that 3.3% to 5% of all convictions in capital rape-murder cases in the U.S. in the 1980s were erro...
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  • Algorithms and the Individual in Criminal Law.Renée Jorgensen - 2022 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 52 (1):1-17.
    Law-enforcement agencies are increasingly able to leverage crime statistics to make risk predictions for particular individuals, employing a form of inference that some condemn as violating the right to be “treated as an individual.” I suggest that the right encodes agents’ entitlement to a fair distribution of the burdens and benefits of the rule of law. Rather than precluding statistical prediction, it requires that citizens be able to anticipate which variables will be used as predictors and act intentionally to avoid (...)
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  • Inductive risk and the contexts of communication.Stephen John - 2015 - Synthese 192 (1):79-96.
    In recent years, the argument from inductive risk against value free science has enjoyed a revival. This paper investigates and clarifies this argument through means of a case-study: neonicitinoid research. Sect. 1 argues that the argument from inductive risk is best conceptualised as a claim about scientists’ communicative obligations. Sect. 2 then shows why this argument is inapplicable to “public communication”. Sect. 3 outlines non-epistemic reasons why non-epistemic values should not play a role in public communicative contexts. Sect. 4 analyses (...)
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  • The Relationship Between Belief and Credence.Elizabeth G. Jackson - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (6):1–13.
    Sometimes epistemologists theorize about belief, a tripartite attitude on which one can believe, withhold belief, or disbelieve a proposition. In other cases, epistemologists theorize about credence, a fine-grained attitude that represents one’s subjective probability or confidence level toward a proposition. How do these two attitudes relate to each other? This article explores the relationship between belief and credence in two categories: descriptive and normative. It then explains the broader significance of the belief-credence connection and concludes with general lessons from the (...)
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  • Belief, Credence, and Faith.Elizabeth Jackson - 2019 - Religious Studies 55 (2):153-168.
    In this article, I argue that faith’s going beyond the evidence need not compromise faith’s epistemic rationality. First, I explain how some of the recent literature on belief and credence points to a distinction between what I call B-evidence and C-evidence. Then, I apply this distinction to rational faith. I argue that if faith is more sensitive to B-evidence than to C-evidence, faith can go beyond the evidence and still be epistemically rational.
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  • 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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  • From Isolation to Skepticism.Scott Hill - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (3):649-668.
    If moral properties lacked causal powers, would moral skepticism be true? I argue that it would. Along the way I respond to various arguments that it would not.
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  • An epistemic modal norm of practical reasoning.Tim Henning - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):6665-6686.
    When are you in a position to rely on p in practical reasoning? Existing accounts say that you must know that p, or be in a position to know that p, or be justified in believing that p, or be in a position to justifiably believe it, and so on. This paper argues that all of these proposals face important problems, which I call the Problems of Negative Bootstrapping and of Level Confusions. I offer a diagnosis of these problems, and (...)
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  • Overcoming Luck: Two Trends in Legal Philosophy.Jeffrey S. Helmreich - 2018 - Analysis 78 (2):335-347.
    © The Author 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Analysis Trust. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: [email protected] article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model...Philosophy of law was until recently dominated by abstract investigation into the nature of law, a pursuit known as ‘general jurisprudence’. In this way, it resembled a branch of metaphysics or mid-twentieth century philosophy of mind, seeking to uncover the essential properties (...)
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  • Legal Probabilism: A Qualified Defence.Brian Hedden & Mark Colyvan - 2019 - Journal of Political Philosophy 27 (4):448-468.
    Journal of Political Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  • Profiling and Proof: Are Statistics Safe?Georgi Gardiner - 2020 - Philosophy 95 (2):161-183.
    Many theorists hold that outright verdicts based on bare statistical evidence are unwarranted. Bare statistical evidence may support high credence, on these views, but does not support outright belief or legal verdicts of culpability. The vignettes that constitute the lottery paradox and the proof paradox are marshalled to support this claim. Some theorists argue, furthermore, that examples of profiling also indicate that bare statistical evidence is insufficient for warranting outright verdicts.I examine Pritchard's and Buchak's treatments of these three kinds of (...)
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  • Opacity of Character: Virtue Ethics and the Legal Admissibility of Character Evidence.Jacob Smith & Georgi Gardiner - 2021 - Philosophical Issues 31 (1):334-354.
    Many jurisdictions prohibit or severely restrict the use of evidence about a defendant’s character to prove legal culpability. Situationists, who argue that conduct is largely determined by situational features rather than by character, can easily defend this prohibition. According to situationism, character evidence is misleading or paltry. -/- Proscriptions on character evidence seem harder to justify, however, on virtue ethical accounts. It appears that excluding character evidence either denies the centrality of character for explaining conduct—the situationist position—or omits probative evidence. (...)
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  • Statistical evidence and the criminal verdict asymmetry.Avital Fried - 2022 - Synthese 200 (6).
    Epistemologists have posed the following puzzle, known as the proof paradox: Why is it intuitively problematic for juries to convict on the basis of statistical evidence and yet intuitively unproblematic for juries to convict on the basis of far less reliable, non-statistical evidence? To answer this question, theorists have explained the exclusion of statistical evidence by arguing that legal proof requires certain epistemic features. In this paper, I make two contributions to the debate. First, I establish the Criminal Verdict Asymmetry, (...)
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  • Hope, Worry, and Suspension of Judgment.James Fritz - 2021 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 51 (8):573-587.
    In this paper, I defend an epistemic requirement on fitting hopes and worries: it is fitting to hope or to worry that p only if one’s epistemic position makes it rational to suspend judgment as to whether p. This view, unlike prominent alternatives, is ecumenical; it retains its plausibility against a variety of different background views of epistemology. It also has other important theoretical virtues: it is illuminating, elegant, and extensionally adequate. Fallibilists about knowledge have special reason to be friendly (...)
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  • Fitting anxiety and prudent anxiety.James Fritz - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):8555-8578.
    Most agree that, in some special scenarios, prudence can speak against feeling a fitting emotion. Some go further, arguing that the tension between fittingness and prudence afflicts some emotions in a fairly general way. This paper goes even further: it argues that, when it comes to anxiety, the tension between fittingness and prudence is nearly inescapable. On any plausible theory, an enormous array of possible outcomes are both bad and epistemically uncertain in the right way to ground fitting anxiety. What’s (...)
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