Arguing about the Evidence: a Logical Approach


in Evidence, Inference and Enquiry

Published by British Academy

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780197264843
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754050 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Arguing about the Evidence: a Logical Approach

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This chapter explores ways in which we can be equally rigorous about how to reason about and assess uncertain evidence, using a framework that allows for uncertainty but does not depend on being able to quantify it. It begins by defining what is meant by ‘evidence’ since it has somewhat different interpretations in different fields. It then attempts to develop a unified perspective. The central idea of this unification is that it is based on logic and the patterns of argumentation which are to be seen in deliberations and debates about evidence. The framework does not reject the importance of probabilistic methods for reasoning about evidence but offers a broader perspective which accommodates probabilistic methods when they are practical, and offers an alternative set of methods when they are not.

Keywords: evidence; uncertainty; argumentation; probabilistic methods; logic

Chapter.  12927 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Research and Statistics

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