Evidence of expert's evidence is evidence

Episteme 13 (2):208-218 (2016)
Abstract
John Hardwig has championed the thesis (NE) that evidence that an expert EXP has evidence for a proposition P, constituted by EXP’s testimony that P, is not evidence for P itself, where evidence for P is generally characterized as anything that counts towards establishing the truth of P. In this paper, I first show that (NE) yields tensions within Hardwig’s overall view of epistemic reliance on experts and makes it imply unpalatable consequences. Then, I use Shogenji-Roche’s theorem of transitivity of incremental confirmation to show that (NE) is false if a natural Bayesian formalization of the above notion of evidence is implemented. I concede that Hardwig could resist my Bayesian objection if he re-interpreted (NE) as a more precise thesis that only applies to community-focused evidence. I argue, however, that this precisification, while diminishing the philosophical relevance of (NE), wouldn’t settle the tensions internal to Hardwig’s views.
Keywords expert testimony  testimonial evidence  transitivity of confirmation
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DOI 10.1017/epi.2015.42
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References found in this work BETA
Epistemology Futures.Stephen Cade Hetherington (ed.) - 2006 - Oxford University Press.
A Weaker Condition for Transitivity in Probabilistic Support.William Roche - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (1):111-118.
A Condition for Transitivity in Probabilistic Support.Tomoji Shogenji - 2003 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 54 (4):613-616.

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