The Difficulty about Corroboration and Convergence

L. Jonathan Cohen

in The Probable and The Provable

Published in print December 1977 | ISBN: 9780198244127
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680748 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Library of Logic and Philosophy

The Difficulty about Corroboration and Convergence

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This chapter examines the difficulty about corroboration and convergence. It begins by addressing the common structure of testimonial corroboration and circumstantial convergence. The chapter also considers the traditional, Bernoullian analysis. The elucidation that has been most commonly proposed is at least as old as James Bernoulli's Ars Conjectandi. The chapter describes it in the admirably perspicuous form in which it was expounded by George Boole. In addition, the need to take prior probabilities into account is shown. Moreover, a demonstrably adequate analysis of corroboration and convergence in terms of mathematical probability is presented. It then reports the legal inadmissibility of positive prior probabilities. The method of contraposition is elaborated as well.

Keywords: testimonial corroboration; circumstantial convergence; Bernoullian analysis; James Bernoulli; George Boole; mathematical probability; method of contraposition

Chapter.  8741 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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