David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Quarterly 37 (147):187-202 (1987)
Hume’s celebrated argument concerning miracles, and an 18th century criticism of it put forward by Richard Price, is here interpreted in terms of the modern controversy over the base-rate fallacy. When considering to what degree we should trust a witness, should we or should we not take into account the prior probability of the event reported? The reliability of the witness (’Pr’(says e/e)) is distinguished from the credibility of the testimony (’Pr’(e/says e)), and it is argued that Hume, as a good proto-Bayesian, argued that the credibility of the testimony should be calculated in terms of both the reliability of the witness and the prior probability of the event reported
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