Evidence

Edited by Christopher Michael Cloos (University of California at Santa Barbara)
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Summary

The notion of evidence features importantly in epistemology and philosophy of science. There are three primary questions that a theory of evidence must address. The constitution question asks: What is the nature of evidence? A major divide in answers to the constitution question is between those who think that all evidence is propositional and those who think that some evidence is non-propositional. The possession question asks: When does someone possess a piece of information as evidence? Restrictive views of evidence possession hold that one has as evidence only information that one is consciously entertaining. More inclusive views of evidence possession hold that one’s evidence includes non-occurrent information, such as stored memories. Lastly, a theory of evidence must address the positive support question. In philosophy of science and formal epistemology the positive support question is: When is a hypothesis confirmed by evidence? In contemporary epistemology the positive support question is: When is a belief justified by evidence?

Introductions Encyclopedia entries on evidence include DiFate 2007 and Kelly 2006. Additional overviews of evidence include Conee & Feldman 2008 and Kelly 2008.
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  1. Look at the Time!David Builes - 2022 - Analysis 82 (1):15-23.
    I argue that we can get evidence for the temporal ontology of the universe simply by looking at the time. The argument is an extension of the ‘epistemic objection’ towards Growing Block theories.
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  2. Aesthetic Higher-Order Evidence for Subjectivists.Luis Oliveira & Chris Mag Uidhir - forthcoming - British Journal of Aesthetics.
    Aesthetic subjectivism takes the truth of aesthetic judgments to be relative to the individual making that judgment. Despite widespread suspicion, however, this does not mean that one cannot be wrong about such judgments. Accordingly, this does not mean that one cannot gain higher-order evidence of error and fallibility that bears on the rationality of the aesthetic judgment in question. In this paper, we explain and explore these issues in some detail.
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  3. Historical Inductions Meet the Material Theory.Elay Shech - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (5):918-929.
    Historical inductions, that is, the pessimistic metainduction and the problem of unconceived alternatives, are critically analyzed via John D. Norton’s material theory of induction and subsequently rejected as noncogent arguments. It is suggested that the material theory is amenable to a local version of the pessimistic metainduction, for example, in the context of some medical studies.
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  4. When Do Non-Epistemic Values Play an Epistemically Illegitimate Role in Science? How to Solve One Half of the New Demarcation Problem.Alexander Reutlinger - 2022 - Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science 92:152-161.
    Solving the “new demarcation problem” requires a distinction between epistemically legitimate and illegitimate roles for non-epistemic values in science. This paper addresses one ‘half’ (i.e. a sub-problem) of the new demarcation problem articulated by the Gretchenfrage: What makes the role of a non-epistemic value in science epistemically illegitimate? I will argue for the Explaining Epistemic Errors (EEE) account, according to which the epistemically illegitimate role of a non-epistemic value is defined via an explanatory claim: the fact that an epistemic agent (...)
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  5. EXTREME PERMISSIVISM REVISITED.Tamaz Tokhadze - 2022 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 18 (1):(A1)5-26.
    Extreme Permissivism is the view that a body of evidence could rationally permit both the attitude of belief and disbelief towards a proposition. This paper puts forward a new argument against Extreme Permissivism, which improves on a similar style of argument due to Roger White (2005, 2014). White’s argument is built around the principle that the support relation between evidence and a hypothesis is objective: so that if evidence E makes it rational for an agent to believe a hypothesis H, (...)
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  6. Understanding Misunderstandings. Presuppositions and Presumptions in Doctor-Patient Chronic Care Consultations.Fabrizio Macagno & Sarah Bigi - 2017 - Intercultural Pragmatics 1 (14):49–75.
    Pragmatic presupposition is analyzed in this paper as grounded on an implicit reasoning process based on a set of presumptions, which can define cultural differences. The basic condition for making a presupposition can be represented as a reasoning criterion, namely reasonableness. Presuppositions, on this view, need to be reasonable, namely as the conclusion of an underlying presumptive reasoning that does not or may not contain contradictions with other presumptions, including the ordering of the hierarchy of presumptions. Presumptions are in turn (...)
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  7. The Clash Between Scientific and Religious Worldviews: A Re‐Evaluation.Louis Caruana - 2021 - Heythrop Journal 63 (1):19-26.
    Many assume that science and religion represent two worldviews in mutual conflict. These last decades however, the improved study of the social, psychological and historical dimensions of both science and religion has revealed that the two worldviews may not be as mutually antagonistic as previously assumed. It is important therefore to review carefully the very idea of a clash of worldviews. This paper seeks to make a contribution in this area by exploring the deeper, hidden attitudes and dispositions that are (...)
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  8. EVIDENCE To Know and Have It All?Zaman Ali - forthcoming - Lahore: Zaman Ali.
    The reality is; there is something which exist but what that something is; remains a question. Either because we are not capable to reveal it yet or because with time and movement it changes itself and has no truth in it. But what’s the reason for its existence without having or revealing any truth, that’s the evidence we need to find. -/- As with existence we desire to know how it begin and what was beyond it and how and why (...)
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  9. The Role of Evidence in Chronic Care Decision-Making.Fabrizio Macagno & Sarah Bigi - 2021 - Topoi 40 (2):343-358.
    In the domain of medical science, factual evidence is usually considered as the criterion on which to base decisions and construct hypotheses. Evidence-based medicine is the translation of this approach into the field of patient care, and it means providing only the type of care that is based on evidence that proves its effectiveness and appropriateness. However, while the literature has focused on the types and force of evidence used to establish the recommendation and treatment guidelines, the problem of how (...)
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  10. Delusional Evidence-Responsiveness.Carolina Flores - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):6299-6330.
    Delusions are deeply evidence-resistant. Patients with delusions are unmoved by evidence that is in direct conflict with the delusion, often responding to such evidence by offering obvious, and strange, confabulations. As a consequence, the standard view is that delusions are not evidence-responsive. This claim has been used as a key argumentative wedge in debates on the nature of delusions. Some have taken delusions to be beliefs and argued that this implies that belief is not constitutively evidence-responsive. Others hold fixed the (...)
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  11. Dinosaurs and Reasonable Disagreement.Margaret Greta Turnbull - 2021 - Journal of Philosophical Research 46:329-344.
    Most philosophical discussions of disagreement have used idealized disagreements to draw conclusions about the nature of disagreement. I closely examine an actual, non-idealized disagreement in dinosaur paleobiology and show that it can not only teach us about the features of some of our real world disagreements, but can help us to argue for the possibility of reasonable real world disagreement.
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  12. Evidence, Knowledge, and Gas Gauges.Britton Watson - manuscript
    A brief discussion of Hawthorne's objection to evidence-first knowledge. I offer an argument towards evidence-first contextualism.
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  13. Conditionals All the Way Down.Matheus Silva - manuscript
    It is usually accepted that unconditional statements are clearer and less problematic than conditional ones. This article goes against this popular belief by advancing the contrarian hypothesis that all unconditional statements can be reduced to conditional ones due to the way our assumptions support our assertions. In fact, considering the coherentist process by which most of our different beliefs mutually support themselves, the only genuine example of unconditional statements are cases of self-justified beliefs, but these examples are controversial and few (...)
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  14. Theoretical Virtues in Eighteenth-Century Debates on Animal Cognition.Hein van den Berg - 2020 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 42 (3):1-35.
    Within eighteenth-century debates on animal cognition we can distinguish at least three main theoretical positions: (i) Buffon’s mechanism, (ii) Reimarus’ theory of instincts, and (iii) the sensationalism of Condillac and Leroy. In this paper, I adopt a philosophical perspective on this debate and argue that in order to fully understand the justification Buffon, Reimarus, Condillac, and Leroy gave for their respective theories, we must pay special attention to the theoretical virtues these naturalists alluded to while justifying their position. These theoretical (...)
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  15. Extrapolating From Laboratory Behavioral Research on Nonhuman Primates Is Unjustified.Parker Crutchfield - 2020 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 37 (4):628-645.
    Conducting research on animals is supposed to be valuable because it provides information on how human mechanisms work. But for the use of animal models to be ethically justified, it must be epistemically justified. The inference from an observation about an animal model to a conclusion about humans must be warranted for the use of animals to be moral. When researchers infer from animals to humans, it’s an extrapolation. Often non-human primates are used as animal models in laboratory behavioral research. (...)
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  16. Straight out of Durkheim? Haidt’s Neo-Durkheimian Account of Religion and the Cognitive Science of Religion.Steve Clarke - 2018 - Sophia:1-14.
    Jon Haidt, a leading figure in contemporary moral psychology, advocates a participation-centric view of religion, according to which participation in religious communal activity is significantly more important than belief in explaining religious behaviour and commitment. He describes the participation-centric view as ‘Straight out of Durkheim’. I argue that this is a misreading of Durkheim, who held that religious behaviour and commitment are the joint products of belief and participation, with neither belief nor participation being considered more important than the other. (...)
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  17. Recent Work on the Proof Paradox.Lewis D. Ross - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (6).
    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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  18. How Philosophy Bears on Covid-19.Thaddeus Metz - 2020 - South African Journal of Science 116 (7/8):1.
    A short reflection on respects in which philosophers are particularly, if not uniquely, well positioned to address certain ethical and epistemological controversies pertaining to the coronavirus.
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  19. Religious Convictions and Moral Motivation.Anndrei Zavaliy - 2020 - Forum Philosophicum: International Journal for Philosophy 25 (1):141-161.
    Adherence to certain religious beliefs is often cited as both an efficient deterrent to immoral behavior and as an effective trigger of morally praiseworthy actions. I assume the truth of the externalist theory of motivation, emphasizing emotions as the most important non-cognitive elements that causally contribute to behavioral choices. While religious convictions may foster an array of complex emotions in a believer, three emotive states are singled out for a closer analysis: fear, guilt and gratitude. The results of recent empirical (...)
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  20. Précis of The Unity of Perception.Susanna Schellenberg - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (3):715-720.
  21. Sceptical Theism and the Paradox of Evil.Luis R. G. Oliveira - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (2):319-333.
    Given plausible assumptions about the nature of evidence and undercutting defeat, many believe that the force of the evidential problem of evil depends on sceptical theism’s being false: if evil is...
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  22. Becoming a Christian: Combining Prior Belief, Evidence, and Will. [REVIEW]Lydia McGrew - 2018 - Philosophia Christi 20 (2):599-603.
  23. Moral Emotions: Reclaiming the Evidence of the Heart. By Anthony J. Steinbock. Pp. Xii, 341, Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2014, $ 89.95/$34.95. [REVIEW]Antonio Calcagno - 2020 - Heythrop Journal 61 (2):355-356.
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  24. Necessary and Sufficient Conditions Are Converse Relations.Matheus Silva - manuscript
    According to the so-called ‘standard theory’ of conditions, the conditionship relation is converse, that is, if A is a sufficient condition for B, B is a necessary condition for A. This theory faces well-known counterexamples that appeal to both causal and other asymmetric considerations. I show that these counterexamples lose their plausibility once we clarify two key components of the standard theory: that to satisfy a condition is to instantiate a property, and that what is usually called ‘conditionship relation’ is (...)
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  25. The Big Four - Their Interdependence and Limitations.Matheus Silva - manuscript
    Four intuitions are recurrent and influential in theories about conditionals: the Ramsey’s test, the Adams’ Thesis, the Equation, and the robustness requirement. For simplicity’s sake, I call these intuitions ‘the big four’. My aim is to show that: (1) the big four are interdependent; (2) they express our inferential dispositions to employ a conditional on a modus ponens; (3) the disposition to employ conditionals on a modus ponens doesn’t have the epistemic significance that is usually attributed to it, since the (...)
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  26. A Paradox of Evidential Equivalence.David Builes - 2020 - Mind 129 (513):113-127.
    Our evidence can be about different subject matters. In fact, necessarily equivalent pieces of evidence can be about different subject matters. Does the hyperintensionality of ‘aboutness’ engender any hyperintensionality at the level of rational credence? In this paper, I present a case which seems to suggest that the answer is ‘yes’. In particular, I argue that our intuitive notions of independent evidence and inadmissible evidence are sensitive to aboutness in a hyperintensional way. We are thus left with a paradox. While (...)
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  27. Being Rational and Being Right.Juan Comesaña - 2020 - Oxford University Press.
  28. Induction and Hypothesis: A Study of the Logic of Confirmation.Stephen Francis Barker - 1957 - Ithaca, NY, USA: Cornell University Press.
    Doubting that any version of induction could be satisfactory as the basic principle of nondemonstrative inference the author analyzes elaborately and rejects eliminative and enumerative induction in the search for a satisfactory criterion of confirmation. The basic difficulty is that induction fails to provide a means of confirming hypotheses about unobserved things. He inclines toward a method of hypothesis but rejects previous formulations in favor of one that involves systems of confirmable hypotheses that are competetively chosen as the simplest available.
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  29. Evolutionary Debunking, Self-Defeat, and All the Evidence.Silvan Wittwer - 2020 - In Michael Klenk (ed.), Higher Order Evidence and Moral Epistemology. New York, NY, USA: Routledge.
    Recently, Tomas Bogardus (2016), Andreas Mogensen (2017) and – at least on one plausible reconstruction – Sharon Street (2005) have argued that evolutionary theory debunks our moral beliefs by providing higher-order evidence of error. In response, moral realists such as Katia Vavova (2014) have objected that such evolutionary debunking arguments are self-defeating. The literature lacks any discussion of whether this self-defeat objection can be handled. My overall aim is to argue that it cannot, thus filling that lacuna – and vindicating (...)
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  30. Normative Reasons for Mentalism.Eva Schmidt - 2018 - In Christos Kyriacou & Robin McKenna (eds.), Metaepistemology: Realism and Anti-Realism. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 97-120.
    The aim of this paper is to connect the traditional epistemological issue of justification with what one might call the “new reasons paradigm” coming from the philosophy of action and metaethics. More specifically, I will show that Conee and Feldman’s mentalism, a version of internalism about justification, can profitably be spelled out in terms of subjective normative reasons. On the way to achieving this aim, I will argue that it is important to ask not just the oft-discussed ontological question about (...)
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  31. ‘Data’ in the Royal Society's Philosophical Transactions, 1665–1886.Chris Meyns - 2019 - Notes and Records: The Royal Society Journal of the History of Science.
    Was there a concept of data before the so-called ‘data revolution’? This paper contributes to the history of the concept of data by investigating uses of the term ‘data’ in texts of the Royal Society's Philosophical Transactions for the period 1665–1886. It surveys how the notion enters the journal as a technical term in mathematics, and charts how over time it expands into various other scientific fields, including Earth sciences, physics and chemistry. The paper argues that in these texts the (...)
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  32. Objašnjenje, evidencija, teorija (Explanation, Evidence, Theory).Daniel Kostic & Dusko Prelevic - 2014 - Belgrade, Serbia: Treći program.
  33. Review of P. Copan and Craig, W. (Eds.) The Kalām Cosmological Argument Volume Two: Scientific Evidence for the Beginning of the Universe. [REVIEW]Graham Oppy - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 11 (3):225-229.
    This is a commissioned review of Copan, P. and Craig, W. The Kalām Cosmological Argument Volume Two: Scientific Evidence for the Beginning of the Universe New York: Bloomsbury, US$172.50, ISBN 978-1-50-133587-7.
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  34. Knowing Our Limits.Nathan Ballantyne - 2019 - New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.
    Changing our minds isn't easy. Even when we recognize our views are disputed by intelligent and informed people, we rarely doubt our rightness. Why is this so? How can we become more open-minded, putting ourselves in a better position to tolerate conflict, advance collective inquiry, and learn from differing perspectives in a complex world? -/- Nathan Ballantyne defends the indispensable role of epistemology in tackling these issues. For early modern philosophers, the point of reflecting on inquiry was to understand how (...)
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  35. Virtuous Faith.Travis M. Dickinson - 2019 - Philosophia Christi 21 (1):119-134.
    The notion of faith has been variously understood throughout the course of Christian intellectual history. It has been common to construe faith in epistemological terms, especially by critics of religious faith. In this paper, I argue that faith, especially faith that is had in the context of relationships, should be understood as an act of ventured trust. This is not to say that beliefs and the evidence for the truth of those beliefs are unimportant. Indeed, I argue that acting on (...)
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  36. On a No Defeat Evidence Principle of Tal and Comesaña.Randall G. Mccutcheon - 2019 - Episteme 16 (3):237-240.
    We offer a critical evaluation of a recent proposal of E. Tal and J. Comesa\~na on the topic of when evidence of evidence constitutes evidence. After establishing that attempts of L. Moretti and W. Roche to discredit the proposal miss their mark, we fashion another, which does not.
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  37. Review of The Paradoxical Rationality of Søren Kierkegaard. [REVIEW]Antony Aumann - 2014 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2014.
    Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) has often been cast as an irrationalist -- an enemy of reason, logic, and perhaps even truth. It is easy to see why. Some of his works encourage us to "crucify" our understanding or to take a leap of faith beyond the evidence.[1] We also encounter texts suggesting that passionate beliefs are more important than true ones.[2] Perhaps his most frequently read book, Fear and Trembling, lauds Abraham for following God's commands "by virtue of the absurd."[3] Finally, (...)
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  38. Belief and Credence: Why the Attitude-Type Matters.Elizabeth Jackson - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (9):2477-2496.
    In this paper, I argue that the relationship between belief and credence is a central question in epistemology. This is because the belief-credence relationship has significant implications for a number of current epistemological issues. I focus on five controversies: permissivism, disagreement, pragmatic encroachment, doxastic voluntarism, and the relationship between doxastic attitudes and prudential rationality. I argue that each debate is constrained in particular ways, depending on whether the relevant attitude is belief or credence. This means that epistemologists should pay attention (...)
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  39. Das Petrusbild nach außerkanonischen Zeugnissen.Michael Mees - 1975 - Zeitschrift für Religions- Und Geistesgeschichte 27 (3):193-205.
  40. On Formal Aspects of the Epistemic Approach to Paraconsistency.Walter Carnielli, Marcelo E. Coniglio & Abilio Rodrigues - 2018 - In Max Freund, Max Fernandez de Castro & Marco Ruffino (eds.), Logic and Philosophy of Logic: Recent Trends in Latin America and Spain. London: College Publications. pp. 48-74.
    This paper reviews the central points and presents some recent developments of the epistemic approach to paraconsistency in terms of the preservation of evidence. Two formal systems are surveyed, the basic logic of evidence (BLE) and the logic of evidence and truth (LET J ), designed to deal, respectively, with evidence and with evidence and truth. While BLE is equivalent to Nelson’s logic N4, it has been conceived for a different purpose. Adequate valuation semantics that provide decidability are given for (...)
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  41. The Epistemic Superiority of Experiment to Simulation.Sherrilyn Roush - 2018 - Synthese 195 (11):4883-4906.
    This paper defends the naïve thesis that the method of experiment has per se an epistemic superiority over the method of computer simulation, a view that has been rejected by some philosophers writing about simulation, and whose grounds have been hard to pin down by its defenders. I further argue that this superiority does not come from the experiment’s object being materially similar to the target in the world that the investigator is trying to learn about, as both sides of (...)
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  42. Bayesian Norms and Non-Ideal Agents.Julia Staffel - forthcoming - In Maria Lasonen-Aarnio & Clayton M. Littlejohn (eds.), Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy Evidence. Routledge.
    Bayesian epistemology provides a popular and powerful framework for modeling rational norms on credences, including how rational agents should respond to evidence. The framework is built on the assumption that ideally rational agents have credences, or degrees of belief, that are representable by numbers that obey the axioms of probability. From there, further constraints are proposed regarding which credence assignments are rationally permissible, and how rational agents’ credences should change upon learning new evidence. While the details are hotly disputed, all (...)
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  43. Evidential Reasoning.Marcello Di Bello & Bart Verheij - 2018 - In G. Bongiovanni, G. Postema, A. Rotolo, G. Sartor, C. Valentini & D. Walton (eds.), Handbook in Legal Reasoning and Argumentation. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. pp. 447-493.
    The primary aim of this chapter is to explain the nature of evidential reasoning, the characteristic difficulties encountered, and the tools to address these difficulties. Our focus is on evidential reasoning in criminal cases. There is an extensive scholarly literature on these topics, and it is a secondary aim of the chapter to provide readers the means to find their way in historical and ongoing debates.
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  44. Reasons, Evidence, and Explanations.John Brunero - 2018 - In Daniel Star (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 321-341.
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  45. Can Experience Fulfill the Many Roles of Evidence?Logan Paul Gage - 2018 - Quaestiones Disputatae 8 (2):87-111.
    It is still a live question in epistemology and philosophy of science as to what exactly evidence is. In my view, evidence consists in experiences called “seemings.” This view is a version of the phenomenal conception of evidence, the position that evidence consists in nonfactive mental states with propositional content. This conception is opposed by sense-data theorists, disjunctivists, and those who think evidence consists in physical objects or publicly observable states of affairs—call it the courtroom conception of evidence. Thomas Kelly (...)
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  46. Patient-Specific Devices and Population-Level Evidence: Evaluating Therapeutic Interventions with Inherent Variation.Mary Jean Walker - 2018 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 21 (3):335-345.
    Designing and manufacturing medical devices for specific patients is becoming increasingly feasible with developments in 3D printing and 3D imaging software. This raises the question of how patient-specific devices can be evaluated, since our ‘gold standard’ method for evaluation, the randomised controlled trial, requires that an intervention is standardised across a number of individuals in an experimental group. I distinguish several senses of patient-specific device, and focus the discussion on understanding the problem of variations between instances of an intervention for (...)
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  47. Undesigned Coincidences and Coherence for an Hypothesis.Lydia McGrew - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (4):801-828.
    Testimonial evidence that is particularly helpful to confirmation combines agreement on some content with variation of detail. I examine the phenomenon of “undesigned coincidences” from a probabilistic point of view to explain how varied reports, including those that dovetail in detail, assist confirmation of an hypothesis. The formal analysis uses recent work in probability theory surrounding the concepts of dependence, independence, and varied evidence. I also discuss the connection between these types of report connections and an hypothesis about the reliability (...)
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  48. Douglas Walton: Argument Evaluation and Evidence: Springer, 2016, 286 Pp. [REVIEW]Marcello Di Bello & Bart Verheij - 2018 - Argumentation 32 (2):301-307.
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  49. Combining Probability with Qualitative Degree-of-Certainty Metrics in Assessment.Casey Helgeson, Richard Bradley & Brian Hill - 2018 - Climatic Change 149:517-525.
    Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) employ an evolving framework of calibrated language for assessing and communicating degrees of certainty in findings. A persistent challenge for this framework has been ambiguity in the relationship between multiple degree-of-certainty metrics. We aim to clarify the relationship between the likelihood and confidence metrics used in the Fifth Assessment Report (2013), with benefits for mathematical consistency among multiple findings and for usability in downstream modeling and decision analysis. We discuss how our (...)
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  50. Intuitions Are Used as Evidence in Philosophy.Nevin Climenhaga - 2018 - Mind 127 (505):69-104.
    In recent years a growing number of philosophers writing about the methodology of philosophy have defended the surprising claim that philosophers do not use intuitions as evidence. In this paper I defend the contrary view that philosophers do use intuitions as evidence. I argue that this thesis is the best explanation of several salient facts about philosophical practice. First, philosophers tend to believe propositions which they find intuitive. Second, philosophers offer error theories for intuitions that conflict with their theories. Finally, (...)
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