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  1. The Law's Aversion to Naked Statistics and Other Mistakes.Ronald J. Allen & Christopher K. Smiciklas - forthcoming - Legal Theory:1-31.
    ABSTRACT A vast literature has developed probing the law's aversion to statistical/probability evidence in general and its rejection of naked statistical evidence in particular. This literature rests on false premises. At least so far as US law is concerned, there is no general aversion to statistical forms of proof and even naked statistics are admissible and sufficient for a verdict when the evidentiary proffer meets the normal standards of admissibility, the most important of which is reliability. The belief to the (...)
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  • In Defence of the Modal Account of Legal Risk.Duncan Pritchard - 2022 - Synthese 200 (4):1-16.
    This paper offers an articulation and defence of the modal account of legal risk in light of a range of objections that have been proposed against this view in the recent literature. It is argued that these objections all trade on a failure to distinguish between the modal nature of risk more generally, and the application of this modal account to particular decision-making contexts, such as legal contexts, where one must rely on a restricted body of information. It is argued (...)
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  • Legal proof and statistical conjunctions.Lewis D. Ross - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (6):2021-2041.
    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 (...)
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  • Recent Work on the Proof Paradox.Lewis D. Ross - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (6).
    Recent years have seen fresh impetus brought to debates about the proper role of statistical evidence in the law. Recent work largely centres on a set of puzzles known as the ‘proof paradox’. While these puzzles may initially seem academic, they have important ramifications for the law: raising key conceptual questions about legal proof, and practical questions about DNA evidence. This article introduces the proof paradox, why we should care about it, and new work attempting to resolve it.
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  • The Foundations of Criminal Law Epistemology.Lewis Ross - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    Legal epistemology has been an area of great philosophical growth since the turn of the century. But recently, a number of philosophers have argued the entire project is misguided, claiming that it relies on an illicit transposition of the norms of individual epistemology to the legal arena. This paper uses these objections as a foil to consider the foundations of legal epistemology, particularly as it applies to the criminal law. The aim is to clarify the fundamental commitments of legal epistemology (...)
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  • Statistical Resentment, Or: What’s Wrong with Acting, Blaming, and Believing on the Basis of Statistics Alone.David Enoch & Levi Spectre - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):5687-5718.
    Statistical evidence—say, that 95% of your co-workers badmouth each other—can never render resenting your colleague appropriate, in the way that other evidence (say, the testimony of a reliable friend) can. The problem of statistical resentment is to explain why. We put the problem of statistical resentment in several wider contexts: The context of the problem of statistical evidence in legal theory; the epistemological context—with problems like the lottery paradox for knowledge, epistemic impurism and doxastic wrongdoing; and the context of a (...)
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  • Sensitivity, Safety, and the Law: A Reply to Pardo.David Enoch & Levi Spectre - 2019 - Legal Theory 25 (3):178-199.
    ABSTRACTIn a recent paper, Michael Pardo argues that the epistemic property that is legally relevant is the one called Safety, rather than Sensitivity. In the process, he argues against our Sensitivity-related account of statistical evidence. Here we revisit these issues, partly in order to respond to Pardo, and partly in order to make general claims about legal epistemology. We clarify our account, we show how it adequately deals with counterexamples and other worries, we raise suspicions about Safety's value here, and (...)
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  • Probability of Guilt.Mario Günther - manuscript
    In legal proceedings, a fact-finder needs to decide whether a defendant is guilty or not based on probabilistic evidence. We defend the thesis that the defendant should be found guilty just in case it is rational for the fact-finder to believe that the defendant is guilty. We draw on Leitgeb’s stability theory for an appropriate notion of rational belief and show how our thesis solves the problem of statistical evidence. Finally, we defend our account of legal proof against challenges from (...)
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  • Knowledge-Norms in a Common-Law Crucible.Cosim Sayid - 2021 - Ratio 34 (4):261-276.
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  • Privacy rights and ‘naked’ statistical evidence.Lauritz Aastrup Munch - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (11):3777-3795.
    Do privacy rights restrict what is permissible to infer about others based on statistical evidence? This paper replies affirmatively by defending the following symmetry: there is not necessarily a morally relevant difference between directly appropriating people’s private information—say, by using an X-ray device on their private safes—and using predictive technologies to infer the same content, at least in cases where the evidence has a roughly similar probative value. This conclusion is of theoretical interest because a comprehensive justification of the thought (...)
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  • What it means to respect individuality.Xiaofei Liu & Ye Liang - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (8):2579-2598.
    Using pure statistical evidence about a group to judge a particular member of that group is often found objectionable. One natural explanation of why this is objectionable appeals to the moral notion of respecting individuality: to properly respect individuality, we need individualized evidence, not pure statistical evidence. However, this explanation has been criticized on the ground that there is no fundamental difference between the so-called “individualized evidence” and “pure statistical evidence”. This paper defends the respecting-individuality explanation by developing an account (...)
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  • 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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