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Legal Burdens of Proof and Statistical Evidence

In James Chase & David Coady (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Applied Epistemology. Routledge (forthcoming)

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  1. Evidentialism and Moral Encroachment.Georgi Gardiner - 2018 - In McCain Kevin (ed.), Believing in Accordance with the Evidence. Springer Verlag.
    Moral encroachment holds that the epistemic justification of a belief can be affected by moral factors. If the belief might wrong a person or group more evidence is required to justify the belief. Moral encroachment thereby opposes evidentialism, and kindred views, which holds that epistemic justification is determined solely by factors pertaining to evidence and truth. In this essay I explain how beliefs such as ‘that woman is probably an administrative assistant’—based on the evidence that most women employees at the (...)
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  • Rehabilitating Statistical Evidence.Lewis D. Ross - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    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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  • Proof Paradoxes and Normic Support: Socializing or Relativizing?Marcello Di Bello - forthcoming - Mind:fzz021.
    Smith argues that, unlike other forms of evidence, naked statistical evidence fails to satisfy normic support. This is his solution to the puzzles of statistical evidence in legal proof. This paper focuses on Smith’s claim that DNA evidence in cold-hit cases does not satisfy normic support. I argue that if this claim is correct, virtually no other form of evidence used at trial can satisfy normic support. This is troublesome. I discuss a few ways in which Smith can respond.
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  • The Rational Impermissibility of Accepting Racial Generalizations.Renée Jorgensen Bolinger - forthcoming - Synthese:1-17.
    I argue that inferences from highly probabilifying racial generalizations are not solely objectionable because acting on such inferences would be problematic, or they violate a moral norm, but because they violate a distinctively epistemic norm. They involve accepting a proposition when, given the costs of a mistake, one is not adequately justified in doing so. First I sketch an account of the nature of adequate justification—practical adequacy with respect to eliminating the ~p possibilities from one’s epistemic statespace. Second, I argue (...)
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  • Trial by Statistics: Is a High Probability of Guilt Enough to Convict?Marcello Di Bello - forthcoming - Mind:fzy026.
    Suppose one hundred prisoners are in a yard under the supervision of a guard, and at some point, ninety-nine of them collectively kill the guard. If, after the fact, a prisoner is picked at random and tried, the probability of his guilt is 99%. But despite the high probability, the statistical chances, by themselves, seem insufficient to justify a conviction. The question is why. Two arguments are offered. The first, decision-theoretic argument shows that a conviction solely based on the statistics (...)
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