David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy of Science 54 (1):76-91 (1987)
L. Jonathan Cohen has written a number of important books and articles in which he argues that mathematical probability provides a poor model of much of what paradigmatically passes for sound reasoning, whether this be in the sciences, in common discourse, or in the law. In his book, The Probable and the Provable, Cohen elaborates six paradoxes faced by advocates of mathematical probability (PM) when treating issues of evidence as they would arise in a court of law. He argues that his system of inductive probability (PI) satisfactorily handles the issues that proved paradoxical for mathematical probability, and consequently PI deserves to be thought of as an important standard of rational thinking. I argue that a careful look at each of the alleged paradoxes shows that there is no conflict between mathematical probability and the law, except when for reasons of policy we opt for values in addition to accuracy maximization. Recognizing the role of such policies provides no basis for questioning the adequacy of PM. The significance of this critical treatment of Cohen's work is that those interested in revising the laws of evidence to allow for more explicitly mathematical approaches ought to feel that such revisions will not violate the spirit of forensic rationality
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
P. C.-H. Cheng & M. Keane (1989). Explanatory Coherence as a Psychological Theory. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 12 (3):469.
Robyn M. Dawes (1989). Thagard's Principle 7 and Simpson's Paradox. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 12 (3):472.
D. C. Earle (1989). On the Testability of ECHO. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 12 (3):474.
John R. Josephson (1989). Inference to the Best Explanation is Basic. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 12 (3):477.
Joshua Klayman & Robin M. Hogarth (1989). Does ECHO Explain Explanation? A Psychological Perspective. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 12 (3):478.
Similar books and articles
Timothy Williamson (1998). Conditionalizing on Knowledge. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 49 (1):89-121.
Patrick Maher (2006). A Conception of Inductive Logic. Philosophy of Science 73 (5):513-523.
Alan Hájek (2001). Probability, Logic, and Probability Logic. In Lou Goble (ed.), The Blackwell Guide to Philosophical Logic. Blackwell Publishers. 362--384.
Patrick Maher (2010). Bayesian Probability. Synthese 172 (1):119 - 127.
H. E. Kyburg Jr (1966). Probability and Decision. Philosophy of Science 33 (3):250-261.
Alex Stein (2005). Foundations of Evidence Law. Oxford University Press.
L. Jonathan Cohen (1989). An Introduction to the Philosophy of Induction and Probability. Oxford University Press.
Patrick Maher (2006). The Concept of Inductive Probability. Erkenntnis 65 (2):185 - 206.
Daniel Kahneman & Amos Tversky (1979). On the Interpretation of Intuitive Probability: A Reply to Jonathan Cohen. Cognition 7 (December):409-11.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads12 ( #106,398 of 1,088,400 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #69,601 of 1,088,400 )
How can I increase my downloads?