Cohen on inductive probability and the law of evidence

Philosophy of Science 54 (1):76-91 (1987)
Abstract
L. Jonathan Cohen has written a number of important books and articles in which he argues that mathematical probability provides a poor model of much of what paradigmatically passes for sound reasoning, whether this be in the sciences, in common discourse, or in the law. In his book, The Probable and the Provable, Cohen elaborates six paradoxes faced by advocates of mathematical probability (PM) when treating issues of evidence as they would arise in a court of law. He argues that his system of inductive probability (PI) satisfactorily handles the issues that proved paradoxical for mathematical probability, and consequently PI deserves to be thought of as an important standard of rational thinking. I argue that a careful look at each of the alleged paradoxes shows that there is no conflict between mathematical probability and the law, except when for reasons of policy we opt for values in addition to accuracy maximization. Recognizing the role of such policies provides no basis for questioning the adequacy of PM. The significance of this critical treatment of Cohen's work is that those interested in revising the laws of evidence to allow for more explicitly mathematical approaches ought to feel that such revisions will not violate the spirit of forensic rationality
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1086/289354
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,749
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Explanatory Coherence (Plus Commentary).Paul Thagard - 1989 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 12 (3):435-467.
Optimization and Connectionism Are Two Different Things.Drew McDermott - 1989 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 12 (3):483.
Explanation and Acceptability.Peter Achinstein - 1989 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 12 (3):467.
Inference to the Best Explanation is Basic.John R. Josephson - 1989 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 12 (3):477.
Thagard's Principle 7 and Simpson's Paradox.Robyn M. Dawes - 1989 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 12 (3):472.

View all 12 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Conditionalizing on Knowledge.Timothy Williamson - 1998 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 49 (1):89-121.
Bayesian Probability.Patrick Maher - 2010 - Synthese 172 (1):119 - 127.
Probability and Decision.H. E. Kyburg Jr - 1966 - Philosophy of Science 33 (3):250-261.
Foundations of Evidence Law.Alex Stein - 2005 - Oxford University Press.
Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total downloads
19 ( #267,467 of 2,197,348 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #298,877 of 2,197,348 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature