Achinstein's Theory Of Evidence Essay

1172 Words 5 Pages
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
…show more content…
Achinstein’s two criteria, nonetheless, fall foul of the desideratum (1) insofar as they do not consider the indicative role of evidence. On Reiss 's account, Achinstein’s theory of evidence does not count as a theory of evidence because it fails to fulfil the four desiderata. Despite its partial scope, I recognise valuable insights of Achienstein’s theory. As theories of evidence are purpose-specific, I would suggest that these desiderata instead evidently signify different divisions on the evidential landscape. They can be distinct, but in some areas they may be overlapped; however, a theory of evidence can be situated on some divisions instead of covering all. Meanwhile, a desideratum is to evaluate whether a theory of evidence operates positively in a sense—on its own merits in relation to the criteria it is intended to meet. Achinstein’s theory, in this sense, should be evaluated by the desideratum (2) as alleged in itself. A holism of evidence could be suggested on which basis one could insist that the considerations be taken into account all together as a small leak may sink a great ship. I do not address this issue

Related Documents