[SydPhil] Notification: Mark Colyvan @ Thu 21 May 2015 15:00 - 16:30 (Current Projects)

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Fri May 15 14:59:56 AEST 2015

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Title: Mark Colyvan
Crime, Punishment and "Specific" Evidence
Mark Colyvan (University of Sydney) and Katie Steele (London School of  

Abstract: Various real and imagined criminal law cases provoke the  
intuition that there is something wanting with purely statistical evidence  
in the courtroom (i.e. the appeal to the frequency of properties in a  
sample population, whose members are similar to the person of interest).  
But in the cases in question, the probabilities of guilt or culpability are  
very high--high enough to meet the relevant standard of evidence. This  
problem is known as the 'proof paradox'. An oft-expressed position is that  
legal verdicts should be based on 'specific' rather than 'general' evidence  
of guilt. But it is unclear what this distinction amounts to. Moreover, we  
need to know whether general evidence is supposedly problematic for  
epistemic or for moral reasons. We argue that, all other things being  
equal, moral considerations should not influence the import of legal  
evidence. And given the salient ways of distinguishing specific and general  
evidence, there is no good epistemic reason for down grading the latter.  
Finally, we argue that in the problem cases, the statistical evidence is  
indeed wanting but the deficiency in question is epistemic, not moral, in  

When: Thu 21 May 2015 15:00 - 16:30 Eastern Time - Melbourne, Sydney
Where: The Muniment Room
Calendar: Current Projects
     * Kristie Miller- creator

Event details:  

Invitation from Google Calendar: https://www.google.com/calendar/

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