Evidence

Edited by Christopher Michael Cloos (University of California at Santa Barbara)
About this topic
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 2008. Additional overviews of evidence include Conee & Feldman 2008 and Kelly 2008.
Related categories
Subcategories:History/traditions: Evidence

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  1. Four Mistaken Theses About Evidence, and How to Correct Them.Peter Achinstein - 2005 - In P. Achinstein (ed.), Scientific Evidence: Philosophical Theories & Applications. The Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 35--50.
  2. On Evidence: A Reply to Bar-Hillel and Margalit.Peter Achinstein - 1981 - Mind 90 (357):108-112.
  3. Students' Positions and Considerations of Scientific Evidence About a Controversial Socioscientific Issue.Virginie Albe - 2008 - Science and Education 17 (8-9):805-827.
  4. The Problem of Misleading Evidence: An Assessment of the Justified-True Belief Approach.Catherine L. Bellanca Anderson - 1979 - Dissertation, Syracuse University
  5. Evident Atoms: Visuality in Jean Perrin's Brownian Motion Research.Charlotte Bigg - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 39 (3):312-322.
    The issue of shifting scales between the microscopic and the macroscopic dimensions is a recurrent one in the history of science, and in particular the history of microscopy. But it took on new dimensions in the context of early twentieth-century microscophysics, with the progressive realisation that the physical laws governing the macroscopic world were not always adequate for describing the sub-microscopic one. The paper focuses on the researches of Jean Perrin in the 1900s, in particular his use of Brownian motion (...)
  6. Evolution in Cardiology: Triumph and Defeat.R. J. Bing - 1990 - Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 34 (1):1.
  7. Evidence and Warrants for Belief in a College Astronomy Course.Nancy W. Brickhouse, Zoubeida R. Dagher, Harry L. Shipman & William J. Letts - 2002 - Science and Education 11 (6):573-588.
  8. Contextualism About Evidential Support.Jessica Brown - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (2):329-354.
    In this paper, I examine a contextualist thesis that has been little discussed in comparison with contextualism about knowledge, namely contextualism about evidential support. This seems surprising since, prima facie, evidential support statements seem shifty in a way parallel to knowledge ascriptions. I examine but reject the suggestion that contrastivism about evidential support is motivated by arguments analogous to those used to motivate contrastivism about knowledge including sceptical closure arguments, the nature of inquiry, the existence of explicitly contrastive evidential support (...)
  9. Justification and Misleading Defeaters.James Cargile - 1955 - Analysis 55 (3):216 - 220.
  10. In Defense of Propositionalism About Evidence.Trent Dougherty - 2011 - In Evidentialism and its Discontents. Oxford University Press.
  11. Belief, Evidence, and Conditioning.P. Hansen, B. Jaumard & M. P. de Aragao - 2006 - In Borchert (ed.), Philosophy of Science. Macmillan. pp. 42-65.
  12. Evidence Can Be Permissive.Thomas Kelly - 2013 - In Matthias Steup & John Turri (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Epistemology. Blackwell. pp. 298.
  13. Demons, Possibility and Evidence.Michael Levin - 2000 - Noûs 34 (3):422–440.
  14. 1 Evidence and Explanation.Peter Lipton - 2008 - In Andrew Bell, John Swenson-Wright & Karin Tybjerg (eds.), Evidence. Cambridge University Press. pp. 19--10.
  15. DNA Evidence and Probability : A Situated Controversy.Michael Lynch & Ruth McNally - unknown
  16. ENENSON, F. C.: "Probability, Objectivity and Evidence". [REVIEW]Peter Milne - 1986 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 37:123.
  17. Experience as Evidence.Joan W. Scott - 1994 - In James K. Chandler, Arnold Ira Davidson & Harry D. Harootunian (eds.), Questions of Evidence: Proof, Practice, and Persuasion Across the Disciplines. University of Chicago Press. pp. 363--81.
  18. Time and Underdetermination.Ralph Ernest Shain - 1994 - Dissertation, Northwestern University
    The aim of this project is to dissolve the skeptical "indeterminacy" or "underdetermination" problem by showing that the problem depends essentially on an erroneous conception of time. ;I trace the development of underdetermination skepticism from its origins in the work of Duhem, through its transformation by Quine, to its contemporary use as an anti-realist argument in philosophy of science. The same skeptical problem appears as Quine's indeterminacy of translation. These analyses show that the problem is an improved version of Pyrrhonian (...)
  19. Kappa Calculus and Evidential Strength: A Note on Åqvist's Logical Theory of Legal Evidence.SolomonEyal Shimony & Ephraim Nissan - 2001 - Artificial Intelligence and Law 9 (2-3).
    Lennart Åqvist (1992) proposed a logical theory of legal evidence, based on the Bolding-Ekelöf of degrees of evidential strength. This paper reformulates Åqvist's model in terms of the probabilistic version of the kappa calculus. Proving its acceptability in the legal context is beyond the present scope, but the epistemological debate about Bayesian Law isclearly relevant. While the present model is a possible link to that lineof inquiry, we offer some considerations about the broader picture of thepotential of AI & Law (...)
  20. Recensioni/Reviews-Knowledge, Truth, and Duty. Essays on Epistemic Justification, Responsibility, and Virtue.M. Steup, A. Fairweather & L. Zagzebski - 2004 - Epistemologia 27 (2):346.
  21. Recensioni/Reviews-Epistemic Justification.R. Swinburne & N. Vassallo - 2003 - Epistemologia 26 (2):359-362.
  22. Recensioni/Reviews-Virtue Epistemology. Essays on Epistemic Virtue and Responsibility.N. Vassallo - 2004 - Epistemologia 27 (2):346-347.
  23. Evidence and Epistemic Causality.Wilde Michael & Williamson Jon - unknown
Evidence and Knowledge
  1. Evidence, Explanation, and Realism: Essays in the Philosophy of Science.Peter Achinstein - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
    The essays in this volume address three fundamental questions in the philosophy of science: What is required for some fact to be evidence for a scientific ...
  2. The Book of Evidence.Peter Achinstein - 2001 - Oxford University Press.
    What is required for something to be evidence for a hypothesis? In this fascinating, elegantly written work, distinguished philosopher of science Peter Achinstein explores this question, rejecting typical philosophical and statistical theories of evidence. He claims these theories are much too weak to give scientists what they want--a good reason to believe--and, in some cases, they furnish concepts that mistakenly make all evidential claims a priori. Achinstein introduces four concepts of evidence, defines three of them by reference to "potential" evidence, (...)
  3. Why Philosophical Theories of Evidence Are (and Ought to Be) Ignored by Scientists.Peter Achinstein - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (3):192.
    There are two reasons, I claim, scientists do and should ignore standard philosophical theories of objective evidence: (1) Such theories propose concepts that are far too weak to give scientists what they want from evidence, viz., a good reason to believe a hypothesis; and (2) They provide concepts that make the evidential relationship a priori, whereas typically establishing an evidential claim requires empirical investigation.
  4. The Concept of Evidence.Peter Achinstein (ed.) - 1983 - Oxford University Press.
  5. Empirical Evidence and the Knowledge-That/Knowledge-How Distinction.Marcus Adams - 2009 - Synthese 170 (1):97-114.
    In this article I have two primary goals. First, I present two recent views on the distinction between knowledge-that and knowledge-how (Stanley and Williamson, The Journal of Philosophy 98(8):411–444, 2001; Hetherington, Epistemology futures, 2006). I contend that neither of these provides conclusive arguments against the distinction. Second, I discuss studies from neuroscience and experimental psychology that relate to this distinction. Having examined these studies, I then defend a third view that explains certain relevant data from these studies by positing the (...)
  6. Epistemics and the Total Evidence Requirement.Jonathan E. Adler - 1989 - Philosophia 19 (2-3):227-243.
  7. A Lack of Ideological Diversity is Killing Social Research.Musa al-Gharbi - 2017 - Times Higher Education 2298:27-28.
    The lack of ideological diversity in social research, paired with the lack of engagement with citizens and policymakers who come from other places on the ideological spectrum, poses an existential risk to the continued credibility, utility and even viability of social research. The need for reform is urgent.
  8. Students' Positions and Considerations of Scientific Evidence About a Controversial Socioscientific Issue.Virginie Albe - 2008 - Science and Education 17 (8-9):805-827.
  9. Inference From Signs: Ancient Debates About the Nature of Evidence.James V. Allen - 2001 - Oxford University Press.
    Original and penetrating, this book investigates of the notion of inference from signs, which played a central role in ancient philosophical and scientific method. It examines an important chapter in ancient epistemology: the debates about the nature of evidence and of the inferences based on it--or signs and sign-inferences as they were called in antiquity. As the first comprehensive treatment of this topic, it fills an important gap in the histories of science and philosophy.
  10. Experts, Evidence, and Epistemic Independence.Ben Almassi - 2007 - Spontaneous Generations 1 (1):58-66.
    Throughout his work on the rationality of epistemic dependence, John Hardwig makes the striking observation that he believes many things for which he possesses no evidence (1985, 335; 1991, 693; 1994, 83). While he could imagine collecting for himself the relevant evidence for some of his beliefs, the vastness of the world and constraints of time and individual intellect thwart his ability to gather for himself the evidence for all his beliefs. So for many things he believes what others tell (...)
  11. Reasons and Rationalizations: The Limits to Organizational Knowledge.Chris Argyris (ed.) - 2004 - Oxford University Press.
    This is a book about how social sciences can be improved in ways that its relevance is expanded, the applicability of its knowledge is enlarged and increased, and the commitment to questioning the status quo is strengthened.
  12. Review of Sherrilyn Roush, Tracking Truth: Knowledge, Evidence and Science[REVIEW]Horacio Arló-Costa - 2006 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2006 (7).
  13. Some Evidence is False.Alexander Arnold - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (1):165 - 172.
    According to some philosophers who accept a propositional conception of evidence, someone's evidence includes a proposition only if it is true. I argue against this thesis by appealing to the possibility of knowledge from falsehood.
  14. Self-Evidence.Robert Audi - 1999 - Philosophical Perspectives 13 (s13):205-228.
  15. Haack's Evidence and Inquiry.Bruce Aune - 1996 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 56 (3):627 - 632.
  16. Haack's Evidence and Inquiry.Review author[S.]: Bruce Aune - 1996 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 56 (3):627-632.
  17. Giving Your Knowledge Half a Chance.Andrew Bacon - 2014 - Philosophical Studies (2):1-25.
    One thousand fair causally isolated coins will be independently flipped tomorrow morning and you know this fact. I argue that the probability, conditional on your knowledge, that any coin will land tails is almost 1 if that coin in fact lands tails, and almost 0 if it in fact lands heads. I also show that the coin flips are not probabilistically independent given your knowledge. These results are uncomfortable for those, like Timothy Williamson, who take these probabilities to play a (...)
  18. Defeatism Defeated.Max Baker-Hytch & Matthew A. Benton - 2015 - Philosophical Perspectives 29 (1):40-66.
    Many epistemologists are enamored with a defeat condition on knowledge. In this paper we present some implementation problems for defeatism, understood along either internalist or externalist lines. We then propose that one who accepts a knowledge norm of belief, according to which one ought to believe only what one knows, can explain away much of the motivation for defeatism. This is an important result, because on the one hand it respects the plausibility of the intuitions about defeat shared by many (...)
  19. Studies in the Philosophy of Logic and Knowledge.Thomas Baldwin & Timothy Smiley (eds.) - 2005 - Oup/British Academy.
    Questions about knowledge, and about the relation between logic and language, are at the heart of philosophy. Eleven distinguished philosophers from Britain and America contribute papers on such questions. All the contributions are examples of recent philosophy at its best. The first half of the book constitutes a running debate about knowledge, evidence and doubt. The second half tackles questions about logic and its relation to language.
  20. The Logic of Justified Belief, Explicit Knowledge, and Conclusive Evidence.Alexandru Baltag, Bryan Renne & Sonja Smets - 2014 - Annals of Pure and Applied Logic 165 (1):49-81.
    We present a complete, decidable logic for reasoning about a notion of completely trustworthy evidence and its relations to justifiable belief and knowledge, as well as to their explicit justifications. This logic makes use of a number of evidence-related notions such as availability, admissibility, and “goodness” of a piece of evidence, and is based on an innovative modification of the Fitting semantics for Artemovʼs Justification Logic designed to preempt Gettier-type counterexamples. We combine this with ideas from belief revision and awareness (...)
  21. Evidence and Leverage: Comment on Roush.Eric Christian Barnes - 2008 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (3):549-557.
    provides a sustained and ambitious development of the basic idea that knowledge is true belief that tracks the truth. In this essay, I provide a quick synopsis of Roush's book and offer a substantive discussion of her analysis of scientific evidence. Roush argues that, for e to serve as evidence for h, it should be easier to determine the truth value of e than it is to determine the truth value of h, an ideal she refers to as ‘leverage’. She (...)
  22. Knowledge and Dogmatism.Peter Baumann - 2013 - Philosophical Quarterly 63 (250):1-19.
    There is a sceptical puzzle according to which knowledge appears to license an unacceptable kind of dogmatism. Here is a version of the corresponding sceptical argument: (1) If a subject S knows a proposition p, then it is OK for S to ignore all evidence against p as misleading; (2) It is never OK for any subject to ignore any evidence against their beliefs as misleading; (3) Hence, nobody knows anything.I distinguish between different versions of the puzzle (mainly a ‘permissibility’ (...)
  23. A Priori Knowledge: Replies to William Lycan and Ernest Sosa.George Bealer - 1996 - Philosophical Studies 81 (2-3):163-174.
    This paper contains replies to comments on the author's paper "A Priori Knowledge and the Scope of Philosophy." Several points in the argument of that paper are given further clarification: the notion of our standard justificatory procedure, the notion of a basic source of evidence, and the doctrine of modal reliabilism. The reliability of intuition is then defended against Lycan's skepticism and a response is given to Lycan's claim that the scope of a priori knowledge does not include philosophically central (...)
  24. The Philosophical Limits of Scientific Essentialism.George Bealer - 1987 - Philosophical Perspectives 1:289-365.
    Scientific essentialism is the view that some necessities can be known only with the aid of empirical science. The thesis of the paper is that scientific essentialism does not extend to the central questions of philosophy and that these questions can be answered a priori. The argument is that the evidence required for the defense of scientific essentialism is reliable only if the intuitions required by philosophy to answer its central questions is also reliable. Included is an outline of a (...)
  25. The Epistemology of Evidence in Cognitive Neuroscience.William P. Bechtel - forthcoming - In R. Skipper Jr, C. Allen, R. A. Ankeny, C. F. Craver, L. Darden, G. Mikkelson & and R. Richardson (eds.), Philosophy and the Life Sciences: A Reader. MIT Press.
    It is no secret that scientists argue. They argue about theories. But even more, they argue about the evidence for theories. Is the evidence itself trustworthy? This is a bit surprising from the perspective of traditional empiricist accounts of scientific methodology according to which the evidence for scientific theories stems from observation, especially observation with the naked eye. These accounts portray the testing of scientific theories as a matter of comparing the predictions of the theory with the data generated by (...)
  26. Evidence.Andrew Bell, John Swenson-Wright & Karin Tybjerg (eds.) - 2008 - Cambridge University Press.
    In this highly accessible book eight distinguished experts from a wide range of disciplines consider the nature and use of evidence in the modern world.
  27. Knowledge and Evidence You Should Have Had.Matthew A. Benton - 2016 - Episteme 13 (4):471-479.
    Epistemologists focus primarily on cases of knowledge, belief, or credence where the evidence which one possesses, or on which one is relying, plays a fundamental role in the epistemic or normative status of one's doxastic state. Recent work in epistemology goes beyond the evidence one possesses to consider the relevance for such statuses of evidence which one does not possess, particularly when there is a sense in which one should have had some evidence. I focus here on Sanford Goldberg's approach (...)
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