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Legal proof and statistical conjunctions

Ross, Lewis (2020) Legal proof and statistical conjunctions. Philosophical Studies. ISSN 0031-8116

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Identification Number: 10.1007/s11098-020-01521-z

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.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.springer.com/journal/11098
Additional Information: © 2020 The Author
Divisions: Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2020 10:21
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 02:53
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/106184

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