A Bayesian Approach to Absent Evidence Reasoning

Informal Logic 31 (1):56-65 (2011)
Abstract
Normal 0 0 1 85 487 UBC 4 1 598 11.773 0 0 0 Under what conditions is the failure to have evidence that p evidence that p is false? Absent evidence reasoning is common in many sciences, including astronomy, archeology, biology and medicine. An often-repeated epistemological motto is that “the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” Analysis of absent evidence reasoning usually takes place in a deductive or frequentist hypothesis-testing framework. Instead, I develop a Bayesian analysis of this motto and prove that, under plausible assumptions about the nature of evidence, the absence of evidence is evidence of absence
Keywords absence of evidence  arguments from ignorance  Bayesianism  evidence, evidence of absence
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