Evidence, Probability, and Relative Plausibility: A Response to Aitken, Taroni & Bozza
Forthcoming, International Journal of Evidence and Procedure
Posted: 12 Jan 2023
Date Written: January 12, 2023
In a recent article, Colin Aitken, Franco Taroni, and Silvia Bozza defend a probabilistic account of juridical proof and critique our “relative plausibility” account on both positive and normative grounds. We are grateful for their thoughtful engagement with our work and for the opportunity to further clarify relative plausibility. In this response, we explain why their critiques fail. First, we explain why their probabilistic alternative is not a plausible account of juridical proof and could not be. Because the account they give of juridical proof cannot possibly be operationalized, any claims of normative superiority are pointless. At a more discrete level, however, aspects of their analysis are valuable and illuminating. In addition to demonstrating problems with the foundation of their argument and their misunderstandings of relative plausibility, we also explain how the issues discussed relate to the important work being done by Aitken, Taroni, and Bozza in the field of forensic science.
Keywords: evidence, probability, epistemology, jurisprudence, relative plausibility, Bayes' Theorem
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