One Small Step Towards a Metatheory of Evidence and Proof
International Journal of Evidence and Proof, vol 23 (January 2019)
15 Pages Posted: 14 Feb 2019
Date Written: January 2019
In recent years, some scholars of evidence and proof, Ronald Allen and Michael Pardo among them, have maintained that the best account of the process of proof in courts is one in which the decision-maker holistically chooses between competing explanations, rather than engaging in a more probabilistic assessment, and rather than evaluating items of evidence sequentially in a process best understood as Bayesian updating. Some of the existing explanationist accounts, however, fail to distinguish the question whether items of evidence are considered sequentially or holistically from the question whether evidentiary assessments whether of individual items or all items of evidence taken together, are or are not evaluated probabilistically. This comments seeks to distinguish these two questions, and to inquire into just what it is that a theory of evidence is actually a theory of.
Keywords: Evidence, Prof, Bayesianism, Probabilism, Explanations
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