Explaining the justificatory asymmetry between statistical and individualized evidence
Jorgensen Bolinger, Renèe. (2021). Explaining the justificatory asymmetry between statistical and individualized evidence. In In Hoskins, Zachary and Robson, Jon (Ed.). The social epistemology of legal trials pp. 60-76 Routledge.
|Authors||Jorgensen Bolinger, Renèe|
|Editors||Hoskins, Zachary and Robson, Jon|
In some cases, there appears to be an asymmetry in the evidential value of statistical and more individualized evidence. For example, while I may accept that Alex is guilty based on eyewitness testimony that is 80% likely to be accurate, it does not seem permissible to do so based on the fact that 80% of a group that Alex is a member of are guilty. In this chapter, I suggest that rather than reflecting a deep defect in statistical evidence, this asymmetry might arise from a general constraint on rational inquiry. Plausibly, the degree of evidential support needed to justify taking a proposition to be true depends on the stakes of error. While relying on statistical evidence plausibly raises the stakes by introducing new kinds of risk to members of the reference class, paradigmatically ‘individualized’ evidence—evidence tracing back to A's voluntary behavior—can lower the stakes. The net result explains the apparent evidential asymmetry without positing a deep difference in the brute justificatory power of different types of evidence.
|Book title||The social epistemology of legal trials|
|Place of publication||New York, NY, United States of America|
|Research or scholarly||Research|
|Online||17 Feb 2021|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||15 Sep 2021|
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