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Marcello Di Bello
Arizona State University
  1. Trial by Statistics: Is a High Probability of Guilt Enough to Convict?Marcello Di Bello - 2019 - Mind 128 (512):1045-1084.
    Suppose one hundred prisoners are in a yard under the supervision of a guard, and at some point, ninety-nine of them collectively kill the guard. If, after the fact, a prisoner is picked at random and tried, the probability of his guilt is 99%. But despite the high probability, the statistical chances, by themselves, seem insufficient to justify a conviction. The question is why. Two arguments are offered. The first, decision-theoretic argument shows that a conviction solely based on the statistics (...)
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  2. Profile Evidence, Fairness, and the Risks of Mistaken Convictions.Marcello Di Bello & Collin O’Neil - 2020 - Ethics 130 (2):147-178.
    Many oppose the use of profile evidence against defendants at trial, even when the statistical correlations are reliable and the jury is free from prejudice. The literature has struggled to justify this opposition. We argue that admitting profile evidence is objectionable because it violates what we call “equal protection”—that is, a right of innocent defendants not to be exposed to higher ex ante risks of mistaken conviction compared to other innocent defendants facing similar charges. We also show why admitting other (...)
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  3. Proof Paradoxes and Normic Support: Socializing or Relativizing?Marcello Di Bello - 2020 - Mind 129 (516):1269-1285.
    Smith argues that, unlike other forms of evidence, naked statistical evidence fails to satisfy normic support. This is his solution to the puzzles of statistical evidence in legal proof. This paper focuses on Smith’s claim that DNA evidence in cold-hit cases does not satisfy normic support. I argue that if this claim is correct, virtually no other form of evidence used at trial can satisfy normic support. This is troublesome. I discuss a few ways in which Smith can respond.
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  4.  17
    Legal Probabilism.Rafal Urbaniak & Marcello Di Bello - 2021 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  5.  52
    Evidential Reasoning.Marcello Di Bello & Bart Verheij - 2018 - In G. Bongiovanni, G. Postema, A. Rotolo, G. Sartor, C. Valentini & D. Walton (eds.), Handbook in Legal Reasoning and Argumentation. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. pp. 447-493.
    The primary aim of this chapter is to explain the nature of evidential reasoning, the characteristic difficulties encountered, and the tools to address these difficulties. Our focus is on evidential reasoning in criminal cases. There is an extensive scholarly literature on these topics, and it is a secondary aim of the chapter to provide readers the means to find their way in historical and ongoing debates.
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  6. Epistemic Closure, Assumptions and Topics of Inquiry.Marcello Di Bello - 2014 - Synthese 191 (16):3977-4002.
    According to the principle of epistemic closure, knowledge is closed under known implication. The principle is intuitive but it is problematic in some cases. Suppose you know you have hands and you know that ‘I have hands’ implies ‘I am not a brain-in-a-vat’. Does it follow that you know you are not a brain-in-a-vat? It seems not; it should not be so easy to refute skepticism. In this and similar cases, we are confronted with a puzzle: epistemic closure is an (...)
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  7.  84
    A Probabilistic Analysis of Cross-Examination Using Bayesian Networks.Marcello Di Bello - 2021 - Philosophical Issues 31 (1):41-65.
    The legal scholar Henry Wigmore asserted that cross-examination is ‘the greatest legal engine ever invented for the discovery of truth.’ Was Wigmore right? Instead of addressing this question upfront, this paper offers a conceptual ground clearing. It is difficult to say whether Wigmore was right or wrong without becoming clear about what we mean by cross-examination; how it operates at trial; what it is intended to accomplish. Despite the growing importance of legal epistemology, there is virtually no philosophical work that (...)
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  8.  86
    When Statistical Evidence is Not Specific Enough.Marcello Di Bello - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):12251-12269.
    Many philosophers have pointed out that statistical evidence, or at least some forms of it, lack desirable epistemic or non-epistemic properties, and that this should make us wary of litigations in which the case against the defendant rests in whole or in part on statistical evidence. Others have responded that such broad reservations about statistical evidence are overly restrictive since appellate courts have expressed nuanced views about statistical evidence. In an effort to clarify and reconcile, I put forward an interpretive (...)
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  9. Plausibility and Probability in Juridical Proof.Marcello Di Bello - 2019 - International Journal of Evidence and Proof 23 (1-2).
    This note discusses three issues that Allen and Pardo believe to be especially problematic for a probabilistic interpretation of standards of proof: (1) the subjectivity of probability assignments; (2) the conjunction paradox; and (3) the non-comparative nature of probabilistic standards. I offer a reading of probabilistic standards that avoids these criticisms.
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  10. Plausibility and Reasonable Doubt in the Simonshaven Case.Marcello Di Bello - 2020 - Topics in Cognitive Science 12 (4):1200-1204.
    I comment on two analyses of the Simonshaven case: one by Prakken (2019), based on arguments, and the other by van Koppen and Mackor (2019), based on scenarios (or stories, narratives). I argue that both analyses lack a clear account of proof beyond a reasonable doubt because they lack a clear account of the notion of plausibility. To illustrate this point, I focus on the defense argument during the appeal trial and show that both analyses face difficulties in modeling key (...)
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  11. Can Probability Theory Explain Why Closure is Both Intuitive and Prone to Counterexamples?Marcello Di Bello - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (9):2145-2168.
    Epistemic closure under known implication is the principle that knowledge of "p" and knowledge of "p implies q", together, imply knowledge of "q". This principle is intuitive, yet several putative counterexamples have been formulated against it. This paper addresses the question, why is epistemic closure both intuitive and prone to counterexamples? In particular, the paper examines whether probability theory can offer an answer to this question based on four strategies. The first probability-based strategy rests on the accumulation of risks. The (...)
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  12.  74
    Evidence & decision making in the law: theoretical, computational and empirical approaches.Marcello Di Bello & Bart Verheij - 2020 - Artificial Intelligence and Law 28 (1):1-5.
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  13.  21
    Handbook of Legal Reasoning and Argumentation.Colin Aitken, Amalia Amaya, Kevin D. Ashley, Carla Bagnoli, Giorgio Bongiovanni, Bartosz Brożek, Cristiano Castelfranchi, Samuele Chilovi, Marcello Di Bello, Jaap Hage, Kenneth Einar Himma, Lewis A. Kornhauser, Emiliano Lorini, Fabrizio Macagno, Andrei Marmor, J. J. Moreso, Veronica Rodriguez-Blanco, Antonino Rotolo, Giovanni Sartor, Burkhard Schafer, Chiara Valentini, Bart Verheij, Douglas Walton & Wojciech Załuski (eds.) - 2011 - Dordrecht, Netherland: Springer Verlag.
    This handbook offers a deep analysis of the main forms of legal reasoning and argumentation from both a logical-philosophical and legal perspective. These forms are covered in an exhaustive and critical fashion, and the handbook accordingly divides in three parts: the first one introduces and discusses the basic concepts of practical reasoning. The second one discusses the main general forms of reasoning and argumentation relevant for legal discourse. The third one looks at their application in law as well as at (...)
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  14.  46
    Douglas Walton: Argument Evaluation and Evidence: Springer, 2016, 286 Pp. [REVIEW]Marcello Di Bello & Bart Verheij - 2018 - Argumentation 32 (2):301-307.
  15. A Probabilistic Analysis of Cross‐Examination Using Bayesian Networks.Marcello Di Bello - 2021 - Wiley: Philosophical Issues 31 (1).
    Philosophical Issues, Volume 31, Issue 1, Page 41-65, October 2021.
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