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  1. Risk.Duncan Pritchard - 2015 - Metaphilosophy 46 (3):436-461.
    In this article it is argued that the standard theoretical account of risk in the contemporary literature, which is cast along probabilistic lines, is flawed, in that it is unable to account for a particular kind of risk. In its place a modal account of risk is offered. Two applications of the modal account of risk are then explored. First, to epistemology, via the defence of an anti-risk condition on knowledge in place of the normal anti-luck condition. Second, to legal (...)
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  • Probabilistic Knowledge.Sarah Moss - 2018 - Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.
    Traditional philosophical discussions of knowledge have focused on the epistemic status of full beliefs. In this book, Moss argues that in addition to full beliefs, credences can constitute knowledge. For instance, your .4 credence that it is raining outside can constitute knowledge, in just the same way that your full beliefs can. In addition, you can know that it might be raining, and that if it is raining then it is probably cloudy, where this knowledge is not knowledge of propositions, (...)
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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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  • 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 - 2019 - 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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  • Exploring the proof paradoxes.Mike Redmayne - 2008 - Legal Theory 14 (4):281-309.
    This article explores a long-running debate in evidence theory about the significance of certain puzzling cases where there is reluctance to ascribe liability despite a high probability of liability. It focuses on certain analyses of these puzzles, distinguishing between inferential, moral, and knowledge-based analyses. The article emphasizes the richness and complexity of the puzzle cases and suggests why they are difficult to resolve.
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  • Legal risk, legal evidence and the arithmetic of criminal justice.Duncan Pritchard - 2018 - Jurisprudence 9 (1):108-119.
    It is argued that the standard way that the criminal justice debate regarding the permissible extent of wrongful convictions is cast is fundamentally flawed. In particular, it is claimed that there is an inherent danger in focussing our attention in this debate on different ways of measuring the probabilistic likelihood of wrongful conviction and then evaluating whether these probabilities are unacceptably high. This is because such probabilistic measures are clumsy ways of capturing the level of risk involved, to the extent (...)
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  • Responsibility, Risk, and Killing in Self‐Defense.Seth Lazar - 2009 - Ethics 119 (4):699-728.
    I try to show that agent responsibility is an inadequate basis for the attribution of liability, by discrediting the Risk Argument and showing how the Responsibility Argument in fact collapses into the Risk Argument. I have concentrated on undermining these as philosophical theories of self-defense, although I at times note that our theory of self-defense should not be predicated on assumptions that are inapplicable to the context of war. The potential combatant, I conclude, should not look to the agency view (...)
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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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  • The Reasonable and the Relevant: Legal Standards of Proof.Georgi Gardiner - 2019 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 47 (3):288-318.
    According to a common conception of legal proof, satisfying a legal burden requires establishing a claim to a numerical threshold. Beyond reasonable doubt, for example, is often glossed as 90% or 95% likelihood given the evidence. Preponderance of evidence is interpreted as meaning at least 50% likelihood given the evidence. In light of problems with the common conception, I propose a new ‘relevant alternatives’ framework for legal standards of proof. Relevant alternative accounts of knowledge state that a person knows a (...)
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  • In Defence of Reasonable Doubt.Georgi Gardiner - 2017 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 34 (2):221-241.
    In criminal trials the state must establish, to a particular standard of proof, the defendant's guilt. The most widely used and important standard of proof for criminal conviction is the ‘beyond a reasonable doubt' standard. But what legitimates this standard, rather than an alternative? One view holds the standard of proof should be determined or justified – at least in large part – by its consequences. In this spirit, Laudan uses crime statistics to estimate risks the average citizen runs of (...)
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  • Statistical Evidence, Sensitivity, and the Legal Value of Knowledge.David Enoch, Levi Spectre & Talia Fisher - 2012 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 40 (3):197-224.
    The law views with suspicion statistical evidence, even evidence that is probabilistically on a par with direct, individual evidence that the law is in no way suspicious of. But it has proved remarkably hard to either justify this suspicion, or to debunk it. In this paper, we connect the discussion of statistical evidence to broader epistemological discussions of similar phenomena. We highlight Sensitivity – the requirement that a belief be counterfactually sensitive to the truth in a specific way – as (...)
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  • Trial by Statistics: Is a High Probability of Guilt Enough to Convict?Marcello Di Bello - 2019 - Mind 128 (512):1045-1084.
    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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  • The Probable and the Provable.Laurence Jonathan Cohen - 1977 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
    The book was planned and written as a single, sustained argument. But earlier versions of a few parts of it have appeared separately. The object of this book is both to establish the existence of the paradoxes, and also to describe a non-Pascalian concept of probability in terms of which one can analyse the structure of forensic proof without giving rise to such typical signs of theoretical misfit. Neither the complementational principle for negation nor the multiplicative principle for conjunction applies (...)
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  • The probable and the provable.Laurence Jonathan Cohen - 1977 - Oxford: Clarendon Press.
    The book was planned and written as a single, sustained argument. But earlier versions of a few parts of it have appeared separately. The object of this book is both to establish the existence of the paradoxes, and also to describe a non-Pascalian concept of probability in terms of which one can analyse the structure of forensic proof without giving rise to such typical signs of theoretical misfit. Neither the complementational principle for negation nor the multiplicative principle for conjunction applies (...)
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  • Truth, knowledge, and the standard of proof in criminal law.Clayton Littlejohn - 2020 - Synthese 197 (12):5253-5286.
    Could it be right to convict and punish defendants using only statistical evidence? In this paper, I argue that it is not and explain why it would be wrong. This is difficult to do because there is a powerful argument for thinking that we should convict and punish defendants using statistical evidence. It looks as if the relevant cases are cases of decision under risk and it seems we know what we should do in such cases (i.e., maximize expected value). (...)
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  • Belief, credence, and norms.Lara Buchak - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 169 (2):1-27.
    There are currently two robust traditions in philosophy dealing with doxastic attitudes: the tradition that is concerned primarily with all-or-nothing belief, and the tradition that is concerned primarily with degree of belief or credence. This paper concerns the relationship between belief and credence for a rational agent, and is directed at those who may have hoped that the notion of belief can either be reduced to credence or eliminated altogether when characterizing the norms governing ideally rational agents. It presents a (...)
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  • Sensitivity, Causality, and Statistical Evidence in Courts of Law.Michael Blome-Tillmann - 2015 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 4 (2):102-112.
    Recent attempts to resolve the Paradox of the Gatecrasher rest on a now familiar distinction between individual and bare statistical evidence. This paper investigates two such approaches, the causal approach to individual evidence and a recently influential (and award-winning) modal account that explicates individual evidence in terms of Nozick's notion of sensitivity. This paper offers counterexamples to both approaches, explicates a problem concerning necessary truths for the sensitivity account, and argues that either view is implausibly committed to the impossibility of (...)
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  • Against legal probabilism.Martin Smith - 2021 - In Jon Robson & Zachary Hoskins (eds.), The Social Epistemology of Legal Trials. Routledge.
    Is it right to convict a person of a crime on the basis of purely statistical evidence? Many who have considered this question agree that it is not, posing a direct challenge to legal probabilism – the claim that the criminal standard of proof should be understood in terms of a high probability threshold. Some defenders of legal probabilism have, however, held their ground: Schoeman (1987) argues that there are no clear epistemic or moral problems with convictions based on purely (...)
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  • Corrective justice.Ernest Joseph Weinrib - 2012 - Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.
    Private law governs our most pervasive relationships with other people: the wrongs we do to one another, the property we own and exclude from others' use, the contracts we make and break, and the benefits realized at another's expense that we cannot justly retain. The major rules of private law are well known, but how they are organized, explained, and justified is a matter of fierce debate by lawyers, economists, and philosophers.
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  • Legal Burdens of Proof and Statistical Evidence.Georgi Gardiner - 2018 - In David Coady & James Chase (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Applied Epistemology. New York: 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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  • Philosophical Foundations of the Law of Torts.John Oberdiek (ed.) - 2014 - Oxford University Press UK.
    This book offers a rich insight into the law of torts and cognate fileds, and will be of broad interest to those working in legal and moral philosophy. It has contributions from all over the world and represents the state-of-the art in tort theory.
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  • Imposing Risk: A Normative Framework.John Oberdiek - 2017 - Oxford University Press UK.
    We subject others and are ourselves subjected to risk all the time - risk permeates life. Despite the ubiquity of risk and its imposition, philosophers and legal scholars have devoted little of their attention to the difficult questions stimulated by the pervasiveness of risk. When we impose risk upon others, what is it that we are doing? What is risking's moral significance? What moral standards govern the imposition of risk? And how should the law respond to it? This book highlights (...)
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  • Truth, Error, and Criminal Law: An Essay in Legal Epistemology.Larry Laudan - 2006 - Cambridge University Press.
    Beginning with the premise that the principal function of a criminal trial is to find out the truth about a crime, Larry Laudan examines the rules of evidence and procedure that would be appropriate if the discovery of the truth were, as higher courts routinely claim, the overriding aim of the criminal justice system. Laudan mounts a systematic critique of existing rules and procedures that are obstacles to that quest. He also examines issues of error distribution by offering the first (...)
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  • Foundations of evidence law.Alex Stein - 2005 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    This is the first book to systematically examine the underlying theory of evidence in Anglo-American legal systems. Stein develops a detailed and innovative theory which sets aside the traditional vision of evidence law as facilitating the discovery of the truth. Combining probability theory, epistemology, economic analysis, and moral philosophy, he argues instead that the fundamental purpose of evidence law is to apportion the risk of error in conditions of uncertainty.
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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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  • Against the Alleged Insufficiency of Statistical Evidence.Sam Fox Krauss - 2020 - Florida State University Law Review 47:801-825.
    Over almost a half-century, evidence law scholars and philosophers have contended with what have come to be called the “Proof Paradoxes.” In brief, the following sort of paradox arises: Factfinders in criminal and civil trials are charged with reaching a verdict if the evidence presented meets a particular standard of proof—beyond a reasonable doubt, in criminal cases, and preponderance of the evidence, in civil trials. It seems that purely statistical evidence can suffice for just such a level of certainty in (...)
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  • Statistical evidence and individual litigants.Amit Pundik - manuscript
    Humpty, an enthusiastic football fan, is sued for gate-crashing a local football match. He was seen by Alice sneaking through the fence. Alice's visual identification ability is tested and shown to be accurate in nine times out of ten. This case seems straightforward and finding Humpty liable seems intuitively right. In another football match, Hatter, another enthusiastic football fan, is also sued for gate-crashing. This time, the only evidence available is that just one hundred tickets had been sold whilst yet (...)
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