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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 2008. Additional overviews of evidence include Conee & Feldman 2008 and Kelly 2008.
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Subcategories:History/traditions: Evidence
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  1. P. Achinstein (1997). On Evidence: A Reply to McGrew. Analysis 57 (1):81-83.
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  2. Rani Lill Anjum (2016). Evidence Based or Person Centered? An Ontological Debate. European Journal for Person Centered Healthcare 4 (2):421-429.
    Evidence based medicine (EBM) is under critical debate, and person centered healthcare (PCH) has been proposed as an improvement. But is PCH offered as a supplement or as a replacement of EBM? Prima facie PCH only concerns the practice of medicine, while the contended features of EBM also include methods and medical model. I here argue that there are good philosophical reasons to see PCH as a radical alternative to the existing medical paradigm of EBM, since the two seem committed (...)
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  3. Rani Lill Anjum & Stephen D. Mumford (forthcoming). A Philosophical Argument Against Evidence-Based Policy. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice.
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  4. Lennart Åqvist (2007). An Interpretation of Probability in the Law of Evidence Based on Pro-Et-Contra Argumentation. Artificial Intelligence and Law 15 (4):391-410.
    The purpose of this paper is to improve on the logical and measure-theoretic foundations for the notion of probability in the law of evidence, which were given in my contributions Åqvist [ (1990) Logical analysis of epistemic modality: an explication of the Bolding–Ekelöf degrees of evidential strength. In: Klami HT (ed) Rätt och Sanning (Law and Truth. A symposium on legal proof-theory in Uppsala May 1989). Iustus Förlag, Uppsala, pp 43–54; (1992) Towards a logical theory of legal evidence: semantic analysis (...)
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  5. Robert Audi (1999). Self-Evidence. Noûs 33 (s13):205-228.
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  6. Daryl J. Bem (1998). Is EBE Theory Supported by the Evidence? Is It Androcentric? A Reply to Peplau Et Al. Psychological Review 105 (2):395-398.
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  7. Juan Comesaña & Eyal Tal (2015). Evidence of Evidence is Evidence. Analysis 75 (4):557-559.
    Richard Feldman has proposed and defended different versions of a principle about evidence. In slogan form, the principle holds that ‘evidence of evidence is evidence’. Recently, Branden Fitelson has argued that Feldman’s preferred rendition of the principle falls pray to a counterexample related to the non-transitivity of the evidence-for relation. Feldman replies arguing that Fitelson’s case does not really represent a counterexample to the principle. In this note, we argue that Feldman’s principle is trivially true.
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  8. Tej N. Dhar (2015). Fictions of Knowledge: Fact, Evidence, Doubt. The European Legacy 21 (1):91-93.
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  9. Sinan Dogramaci & Sophie Horowitz (2016). An Argument for Uniqueness About Evidential Support. Philosophical Issues 26 (1):130-147.
    White, Christensen, and Feldman have recently endorsed uniqueness, the thesis that given the same total evidence, two rational subjects cannot hold different views. Kelly, Schoenfield, and Meacham argue that White and others have at best only supported the weaker, merely intrapersonal view that, given the total evidence, there are no two views which a single rational agent could take. Here, we give a new argument for uniqueness, an argument with deliberate focus on the interpersonal element of the thesis. Our argument (...)
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  10. Ellery Eells & F. C. Benenson (1987). Probability, Objectivity and Evidence. Philosophical Review 96 (1):134.
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  11. Irving John Good (1950). Probability and the Weighing of Evidence. Charles Griffin & Company Limited: London.
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  12. Fred I. Greenstein, Personality and Politics: Problems of Evidence, Inference, and Conceptualization.
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  13. Gilbert Harman (2015). Chapter 9. Evidence One Does Not Possess. In Thought. Princeton University Press. pp. 142-154.
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  14. S. C. Hetherington (1996). Foley's Evidence and His Epistemic Reasons. Analysis 56 (2):122-126.
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  15. William E. Hoffmann (1975). Almeder on Truth and Evidence. Philosophical Quarterly 25 (98):59-61.
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  16. Jakob Hohwy (2004). Evidence, Explanation, and Experience. Journal of Philosophy 101 (5):242-254.
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  17. Paul Horwich & A. J. Ayer (1973). Probability and Evidence. Philosophical Review 82 (4):547.
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  18. Isaac Levi & Clark Glymour (1982). Theory and Evidence. Philosophical Review 91 (1):124.
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  19. Berislav Maru%si'C. (2015). Evidence and Agency: Norms of Belief for Promising and Resolving. Oxford University Press.
    Berislav Maru%si'c explores how we should take evidence into account when thinking about future actions, such as resolving to do something we know will be difficult. Should we believe we will follow through, or not? He argues that if it is important to us, we can rationally believe we will do it, even if our belief contradicts the evidence.
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  20. Maruš, I.ć & Berislav (2015). Evidence and Agency: Norms of Belief for Promising and Resolving. Oxford University Press UK.
    Evidence and Agency is concerned with the question of how, as agents, we should take evidence into account when thinking about our future actions. Sometimes we promise and resolve to do things that we have evidence is difficult for us to do. Should we believe that we will follow through, or believe that there is a good chance that we won't? If you believe the former, you seem to be irrational since you believe against the evidence. Yet if you believe (...)
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  21. Manfred Mayer, Theresa Smith & Irene Brückle (2014). III The Evidence of the Forged Paper. In Paul Needham, Irene Brückle & Horst Bredekamp (eds.), A Galileo Forgery: Unmasking the New York Sidereus Nuncius. De Gruyter. pp. 35-60.
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  22. Vincent McNabb (1937). On Evidence. New Blackfriars 18 (204):165-170.
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  23. Mitova Velislava (2017). Believable Evidence. Cambridge University Press.
    Believable Evidence argues that evidence consists of true beliefs. This claim opens up an entirely overlooked space on the ontology of evidence map, between purely factualist positions and purely psychologist ones. Velislava Mitova provides a compelling three-level defence of this view in the first contemporary monograph entirely devoted to the ontology of evidence. First, once we see the evidence as a good reason, metaethical considerations show that the evidence must be psychological and veridical. Second, true belief in particular allows epistemologists (...)
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  24. Wayne C. Myrvold (2017). On the Evidential Import of Unification. Philosophy of Science 84 (1):92-114.
    This paper discusses two senses in which a hypothesis may be said to unify evidence. One is the ability of the hypothesis to increase the mutual information of a set of evidence statements; the other is the ability of the hypothesis to explain commonalities in observed phenomena by positing a common origin for them. On Bayesian updating, it is only mutual information unification that contributes to the incremental support of a hypothesis by the evidence unified. This poses a challenge for (...)
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  25. De Witt H. Parker (1942). World Hypotheses. A Study in Evidence. [REVIEW] Journal of Philosophy 39 (19):527-530.
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  26. Peter J. Phelan & Peter J. Reynolds (1996). Argument and Evidence: Critical Analysis for the Social Sciences. Routledge.
    Phelan and Reynolds' book is for anyone who needs to evaluate arguments and interpret evidence. It deals with the most fundamental aspects of academic study: * the ability to reason with ideas and evidence * to formulate arguments effectively * to appreciate the interplay between ideas and evidence in academic and media debate _Argument and Evidence_ presents aspects of informal logic and statistical theory in a comprehensible way, enabling students to acquire skills in critical thinking which will outlast their undergraduate (...)
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  27. George Pitcher (2015). III. Evidence for the Theory. In Theory of Perception. Princeton University Press. pp. 131-195.
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  28. Douglas Walton with Chris Reed, Evaluating Corroborative Evidence.
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  29. Nicholas Rescher & Carey B. Joynt (1959). Evidence in History and in the Law. Journal of Philosophy 56 (13):561-578.
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  30. Teddy Seidenfeld & Paul Horwich (1984). Probability and Evidence. Philosophical Review 93 (3):474.
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  31. Jacob Stegenga (2011). Is Meta-Analysis the Platinum Standard of Evidence? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 42 (4):497-507.
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  32. Richard B. Stothers (2004). Ancient Scientific Basis of the “Great Serpent” From Historical Evidence. Isis 95 (2):220-238.
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  33. Eyal Tal & Juan Comesaña (2015). Is Evidence of Evidence Evidence? Noûs 50 (4).
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  34. R. H. Vincent (1962). The Paradox of Ideal Evidence. Philosophical Review 71 (4):497-503.
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Evidence and Knowledge
  1. Peter Achinstein (2010). Evidence, Explanation, and Realism: Essays in the Philosophy of Science. 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 ...
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  2. Peter Achinstein (2001). The Book of Evidence. 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, (...)
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  3. Peter Achinstein (2000). Why Philosophical Theories of Evidence Are (and Ought to Be) Ignored by Scientists. 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.
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  4. Marcus Adams (2009). Empirical Evidence and the Knowledge-That/Knowledge-How Distinction. 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 (...)
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  5. Jonathan E. Adler (1989). Epistemics and the Total Evidence Requirement. Philosophia 19 (2-3):227-243.
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  6. James V. Allen (2001). Inference From Signs: Ancient Debates About the Nature of Evidence. 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.
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  7. Ben Almassi (2007). Experts, Evidence, and Epistemic Independence. 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 (...)
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  8. Horacio Arló-Costa (2006). Review of Sherrilyn Roush, Tracking Truth: Knowledge, Evidence and Science. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2006 (7).
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  9. Alexander Arnold (2013). Some Evidence is False. 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.
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  10. Robert Audi (1999). Self-Evidence. Philosophical Perspectives 13 (s13):205-228.
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  11. Review author[S.]: Bruce Aune (1996). Haack's Evidence and Inquiry. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 56 (3):627-632.
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  12. Andrew Bacon (2014). Giving Your Knowledge Half a Chance. 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 (...)
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  13. Max Baker-Hytch & Matthew A. Benton (2015). Defeatism Defeated. 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 (...)
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  14. Thomas Baldwin & Timothy Smiley (eds.) (2005). Studies in the Philosophy of Logic and Knowledge. 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.
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  15. Alexandru Baltag, Bryan Renne & Sonja Smets (2014). The Logic of Justified Belief, Explicit Knowledge, and Conclusive Evidence. 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 (...)
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  16. Eric Christian Barnes (2008). Evidence and Leverage: Comment on Roush. 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 (...)
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