Sensitivity, Causality, and Statistical Evidence in Courts of Law

Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 4 (2):102-112 (2015)

Michael Blome-Tillmann
McGill University
Recent attempts to resolve the Paradox of the Gatecrasher rest on a now familiar distinction between individual and bare statistical evidence. This paper investigates two such approaches, the causal approach to individual evidence and a recently influential (and award-winning) modal account that explicates individual evidence in terms of Nozick's notion of sensitivity. This paper offers counterexamples to both approaches, explicates a problem concerning necessary truths for the sensitivity account, and argues that either view is implausibly committed to the impossibility of no-fault wrongful convictions. The paper finally concludes that the distinction between individual and bare statistical evidence cannot be maintained in terms of causation or sensitivity. We have to look elsewhere for a solution of the Paradox of the Gatecrasher.
Keywords legal standards of proof  sensitivity  causality  evidence  preponderance of the evidence
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DOI 10.1002/tht3.163
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References found in this work BETA

Philosophical Explanations.Robert Nozick - 1981 - Harvard University Press.
Solving the Skeptical Problem.Keith DeRose - 1995 - Philosophical Review 104 (1):1-52.
The Generality Problem for Reliabilism. E. Conee & R. Feldman - 1998 - Philosophical Studies 89 (1):1-29.

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Citations of this work BETA

Rehabilitating Statistical Evidence.Lewis Ross - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.

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