A Theory Of Evidence Essay

1172 Words Mar 1st, 2016 null Page
The prerequisites provided by Achinstein insufficiently capture all of the evidential relationships. Here it is important to look for prerequisites that cover the whole landscape and demarcate it into sensible divisions. Reiss (2015) argues that a theory of evidence should be informative about how to gather evidence and when to be justified in believing a hypothesis on the basis of evidence in non-ideal scenarios as well as ideal ones. He puts forward four desiderata for a theory of evidence. It should:
(1) be a theory of support;
(2) be a theory of warrant;
(3) apply to non-ideal scenarios; and
(4) be descriptively adequate.

While (1) requires that a theory of evidence explain the role of evidence as a truth indicator rather than as truth guarantor, (2) requires that it extends to evidence that provides a good reason to believe in H to a certain degree or that demonstrates H. In short, an account of support is informative for gathering relevant facts to form evidential claims, whilst an account of warrant relates to assessing a statement in light of evidence and determining whether to believe it. (3) stipulates that a theory of evidence should allow of some principles that make sense of non-ideal scenarios, say, where ideal controlled experiments (in attempt to exclude known interfering factors) and ideal randomised controlled trials (RCTs) (in attempt to balance known and unknown interfering factors) are rarely found or background knowledge is unreliable or…

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