Philosophical Studies 178 (6):2021-2041 (2020)

Authors
Lewis Ross
London School of Economics
Abstract
A question, long discussed by legal scholars, has recently provoked a considerable amount of philosophical attention: ‘Is it ever appropriate to base a legal verdict on statistical evidence alone?’ Many philosophers who have considered this question reject legal reliance on bare statistics, even when the odds of error are extremely low. This paper develops a puzzle for the dominant theories concerning why we should eschew bare statistics. Namely, there seem to be compelling scenarios in which there are multiple sources of incriminating statistical evidence. As we conjoin together different types of statistical evidence, it becomes increasingly incredible to suppose that a positive verdict would be impermissible. I suggest that none of the dominant views in the literature can easily accommodate such cases, and close by offering a diagnosis of my own.
Keywords Statistical evidence  Legal Proof  Proof Paradox  Philosophy of Law  Blue Bus  Lottery cases  Beyond a reasonable doubt  Balance of Probabilities  Probability
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Reprint years 2021
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-020-01521-z
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References found in this work BETA

Probabilistic Knowledge.Sarah Moss - 2018 - Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (2):452-458.
Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (1):200-201.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2003 - Philosophical Quarterly 53 (210):105-116.

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Citations of this work BETA

Knowledge, Individualised Evidence and Luck.Dario Mortini - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-25.
The Foundations of Criminal Law Epistemology.Lewis Ross - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.

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