Formal models of source reliability

Synthese 198 (S23):5773-5801 (2020)
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Abstract

The paper introduces, compares and contrasts formal models of source reliability proposed in the epistemology literature, in particular the prominent models of Bovens and Hartmann and Olsson :127–143, 2011). All are Bayesian models seeking to provide normative guidance, yet they differ subtly in assumptions and resulting behavior. Models are evaluated both on conceptual grounds and through simulations, and the relationship between models is clarified. The simulations both show surprising similarities and highlight relevant differences between these models. Most importantly, however, our evaluations reveal that important normative concerns arguably remain unresolved. The philosophical implications of this for testimony are discussed.

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Author Profiles

Christoph Merdes
Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Momme von Sydow
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München
Ulrike Hahn
Birkbeck College

Citations of this work

Collectives and Epistemic Rationality.Ulrike Hahn - 2022 - Topics in Cognitive Science 14 (3):602-620.
On the Assessed Strength of Agents’ Bias.Jürgen Landes & Barbara Osimani - 2020 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 51 (4):525-549.

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References found in this work

Reflection and disagreement.Adam Elga - 2007 - Noûs 41 (3):478–502.
Testimony: A Philosophical Study.C. A. J. Coady - 1992 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Bayesian Epistemology.Luc Bovens & Stephan Hartmann - 2003 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Experts: Which ones should you trust?Alvin I. Goldman - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63 (1):85-110.

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