Synthese:1-18 (forthcoming)

Authors
Renee Bolinger
Princeton University
Abstract
A popular informal argument suggests that statistics about the preponderance of criminal involvement among particular demographic groups partially justify others in making defensive mistakes against members of the group. One could worry that evidence-relative accounts of moral rights vindicate this argument. After constructing the strongest form of this objection, I offer several replies: most demographic statistics face an unmet challenge from reference class problems, even those that meet it fail to ground non-negligible conditional probabilities, even if they did, they introduce new costs likely to cancel out any justificatory contribution of the statistic, but even if they didn’t, demographic facts are the wrong sort to make a moral difference to agents’ negative rights. I conclude that the popular argument should be rejected, and evidence-relative theories do not have the worrisome implication.
Keywords statistics  demographic statistics  self-defense  racial profiling  risk  social inference
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-019-02372-w
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References found in this work BETA

Moral Dimensions: Permissibility, Meaning, Blame.Thomas Scanlon - 2008 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Knowledge and Action.John Hawthorne & Jason Stanley - 2008 - Journal of Philosophy 105 (10):571-590.
Belief, Credence, and Norms.Lara Buchak - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 169 (2):1-27.
What We Epistemically Owe To Each Other.Rima Basu - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (4):915–931.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Moral Grounds of Reasonably Mistaken Self‐Defense.Renée Jorgensen Bolinger - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.

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