Evidence versus Proof

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kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2009 01:17 pm
@Emil,
Emil;103127 wrote:
I haven't given contextualism much thought (haven't had the time but I've encountered it before in discussions regarding the existence of an external world (See this, particularly #6)). But I agree that pragmatics is relevant for knowledge in some ways, just not that different contexts have different requirements for the strength for the evidence.

The reason I think we require stronger evidence in murder trials (and similar) is that there is more at stake. Generally, the more there is at stake, the more sure we want to be (and thus the stronger evidence we require). Because often if we are wrong much is lost, e.g. an innocent human life.

---------- Post added 11-12-2009 at 03:59 PM ----------


Indeed. PM me your email and I will send you one in PDF. I call us the analytics. We even have a user group which is not of any use as far as I can tell.


We do? Where?.........
 
Emil
 
Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2009 01:39 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;103159 wrote:
We do? Where?.........


In this forum. Maybe you didn't accept the invitation. Fast did, I think. I got Leaf to join too. Now we're just waiting for the rest of the analytic squad to migrate from FRDB to here. (Angra Mainyu, Anaximanchild and others.)
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2009 01:51 pm
@Emil,
Emil;103163 wrote:
In this forum. Maybe you didn't accept the invitation. Fast did, I think. I got Leaf to join too. Now we're just waiting for the rest of the analytic squad to migrate from FRDB to here. (Angra Mainyu, Anaximanchild and others.)


How do I find it?
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2009 04:10 pm
@Emil,
Emil;103163 wrote:
In this forum. Maybe you didn't accept the invitation. Fast did, I think. I got Leaf to join too. Now we're just waiting for the rest of the analytic squad to migrate from FRDB to here. (Angra Mainyu, Anaximanchild and others.)


You guys are from FRDB? You and kennethamy?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2009 04:13 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;103187 wrote:
You guys are from FRDB? You and kennethamy?


Refugees.............
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2009 04:29 pm
@Emil,
Emil;103138 wrote:
That's right. He could be the hitherto undiscovered super expert of epistemology! Quickly let him decide the contextualism issue so that he can work on the issue with foundational/coherentism debate, and the internalism/externalism debate and so on. blablabla. Wink


Is there a thread highlighting this issue, or group of issues?
 
fast
 
Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2009 10:36 pm
@Emil,
Emil;103163 wrote:
In this forum. Maybe you didn't accept the invitation. Fast did, I think. I got Leaf to join too. Now we're just waiting for the rest of the analytic squad to migrate from FRDB to here. (Angra Mainyu, Anaximanchild and others.)


I joined a few minutes ago. I've been out of commission for a few days, but I'll respond more later.

By the way, it's "Kennethamy, Fast, and I."

PS: does anyone know why my font sizes are sometimes small? I'm not changing them.

---------- Post added 11-12-2009 at 11:56 PM ----------

[QUOTE=Emil;103091]The dictionary is always the best place to start when discussing words. Multiple dictionaries help. I prefer to use Wiktionary to begin with.

Evidence
1. Facts or observations presented in support of an assertion.
2. (law) Anything admitted by a court to prove or disprove alleged matters of fact in a trial. [/quote]
I have several things to say, but I'm a bit pressed for time at the moment, so I will limit my comments for now, but I will return later with more.

Notice the word, "to" in the second dictionary entry. That is very telling, and I agree with it. It's not anything admitted THAT proves; instead, it's anything admitted to prove; hence, intentions are brought into play.

This is partly why I said: "The police can have evidence that I have committed a crime even if I have not committed a crime-and even if no crime has been committed."

A lot of people may instinctively disagree with that, but I think they would be mistaken. Do you, and does Kennethamy, agree that the police can have evidence that I've committed a crime even if no crime has been committed?

The discussion on proof will prove more difficult.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 12 Nov, 2009 10:59 pm
@fast,
fast;103223 wrote:

A lot of people may instinctively disagree with that, but I think they would be mistaken. Do you, and does Kennethamy, agree that the police can have evidence that I've committed a crime even if no crime has been committed?

.


I agree. That is why people are let go. The police have evidence, but it is insufficient.
 
Emil
 
Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 02:22 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;103191 wrote:
Is there a thread highlighting this issue, or group of issues?


Maybe, but it would be better to read something professionally written on the subject. The SEP is your friend on such matters. Smile

---------- Post added 11-13-2009 at 09:24 AM ----------

Zetherin;103187 wrote:
You guys are from FRDB? You and kennethamy?


Actually I discovered that it was on FRDB that I had created the group. Oh well.

Yes, we are from FRDB: Kennethamy, Emil, fast and Leafy (called leaf over there). Maybe others too. Refugees because we dislike the forum management/leaders.

But I think we are derailing the thread with this. Smile

---------- Post added 11-13-2009 at 09:42 AM ----------

[QUOTE=fast;103223]Notice the word, "to" in the second dictionary entry. That is very telling, and I agree with it. It's not anything admitted THAT proves; instead, it's anything admitted to prove; hence, intentions are brought into play.

This is partly why I said: "The police can have evidence that I have committed a crime even if I have not committed a crime-and even if no crime has been committed."

A lot of people may instinctively disagree with that, but I think they would be mistaken. Do you, and does Kennethamy, agree that the police can have evidence that I've committed a crime even if no crime has been committed?[/QUOTE]

I don't know why anyone would disagree with that. I certainly agree with it. Of course there exist misleading evidence.

Suppose for instance that someone lost a lot of blood in your home (perhaps because of some accident), then went on an unannounced trip to another country. By some coincidence the police happen to discover that there is a lot of blood in your home, and they get a search warrant. They find blood of a person that is not you (DNA test shows that). Furthermore the missing person is an acquaintance of you. The police know that most people are murdered by people they know.

Certainly the police are justified in suspecting you of something.

[QUOTE=fast;103223]The discussion on "proof" will prove more difficult.[/QUOTE]

My edit. Haha. Good fun!
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 09:42 am
@fast,
So, I've read the short article you posted and understood it, Emil. Question time (as promised)!

I'm confused as to why you stated this earlier in the thread:

Emil wrote:
I said that something being a tautology (i.e. a necessary truth) does not imply that we are epistemically certain about it.


when, the description you provided for epistemic certainty, is this:

Quote:

The second is epistemic certainty. This is the one that philosophers usually talk about. It's the inability to be wrong type of certainty. If one is epistemically certain, then one cannot be wrong. So, if one is epistemically certain about something, then that something is not only true but necessarily true; It cannot be false. This type of certainty is also called cartesian (after Descartes) certainty, infallible certainty and absolute certainty. This type of certainty does not come in degrees; Either one is epistemically certain or one is not.


How can I not be epistemically certain of tautologies, when tautologies, by definition, are true; they cannot be false. If anything, tautologies seem like things I would be absolutely certain about. What am I missing?

Emil wrote:

I don't know why anyone would disagree with that. I certainly agree with it. Of course there exist misleading evidence.

Suppose for instance that someone lost a lot of blood in your home (perhaps because of some accident), then went on an unannounced trip to another country. By some coincidence the police happen to discover that there is a lot of blood in your home, and they get a search warrant. They find blood of a person that is not you (DNA test shows that). Furthermore the missing person is an acquaintance of you. The police know that most people are murdered by people they know.

Certainly the police are justified in suspecting you of something.


I think he was getting at: Is misleading evidence really evidence at all?
 
Emil
 
Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 10:46 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;103312 wrote:
So, I've read the short article you posted and understood it, Emil. Question time (as promised)!

I'm confused as to why you stated this earlier in the thread:

when, the description you provided for epistemic certainty, is this:

How can I not be epistemically certain of tautologies, when tautologies, by definition, are true; they cannot be false. If anything, tautologies seem like things I would be absolutely certain about. What am I missing?


In some sense you can indeed be epistemically certain, but only if you believe that it is true. If you believed it was false you would not be epistemically certain. But there is something fishy about this relationship between epistemic certainty and non-contingent propositions. In some sense it is still possible to be wrong about non-contingent propositions, isn't it? Perhaps my analysis of epistemic certainty is wrong.

Ken gave me another analysis idea.

Emil (In a PM):
[INDENT]Do you think that you are epistemically certain that 1+1=2? I think the general fallibilist answer is "No". If the answer is no, then how are we to make sense of the uncertainty? After all it is a necessary truth, it is impossible for the conclusion to be false. In what sense is it thus possible to be wrong about it?[/INDENT]Ken (In a PM):
[INDENT]What conclusion do you mean? There is no argument. Could I not be mistaken about what the sum of 1+1 is if I had lost my wits? It may be a necessary truth that 1+1=2. But it is not a necessary truth that I am not mistaken about the sum of 1+1.

[/INDENT]To clarify:

[INDENT]Someone is epistemically certain that p iff it is logically impossible that that someone is wrong about whether p is true or false.
[/INDENT]Under this definition not even the cogito premises are epistemically certain.

One potential problem with this is that it relies on the semantic theory of truth.


Zetherin;103312 wrote:
I think he was getting at: Is misleading evidence really evidence at all?


Of course. Though we might think that something is evidence for something and be wrong about that.

To give an example of misleading evidence:
[INDENT]Suppose that 99.99% of some group of people are deaf, and that there are 10,000 people in that group. Some person knows this. Later he observers a particular members of the group. He then, correctly, infers (with 99.99% statistic certainty) that the person he is observing is deaf, but by chance that person happens to be the only person that is not deaf in the group.
[/INDENT]I think the above is a case of misleading evidence. As is my earlier example with a police investigation of a house full of blood.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 10:59 am
@fast,
Emil wrote:
In some sense you can indeed be epistemically certain, but only if you believe that it is true. If you believed it was false you would not be epistemically certain.

Of course.

Quote:
Someone is epistemically certain that p iff it is logically impossible that that someone is wrong about whether p is true or false.


If we speak of epistemic certainty like this, I see no reason to even use the term. It is always logically possible that someone is wrong about whether p is true or false. Humans are fallible.

Quote:
Perhaps my analysis of epistemic certainty is wrong.


I found your initial analysis to hold practical application. I find kennethamy's analysis to cut the term epistemic certainty at its knees, rendering it almost useless, except in idealistic banter.

Unless I am misunderstanding something here, which is very possible; I have a knack for it (misunderstanding)!

Emil wrote:

Of course. Though we might think that something is evidence for something and be wrong about that.

To give an example of misleading evidence:
[INDENT]Suppose that 99.99% of some group of people are deaf, and that there are 10,000 people in that group. Some person knows this. Later he observers a particular members of the group. He then, correctly, infers (with 99.99% statistic certainty) that the person he is observing is deaf, but by chance that person happens to be the only person that is not deaf in the group.
[/INDENT]I think the above is a case of misleading evidence. As is my earlier example with a police investigation of a house full of blood.


I would agree, for what it's worth. Still, something is making me consider whether misleading evidence is really evidence at all (strange, I know). Let me go back to the definitions of evidence.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 04:02 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;103312 wrote:
So, I've read the short article you posted and understood it, Emil. Question time (as promised)!

I'm confused as to why you stated this earlier in the thread:



when, the description you provided for epistemic certainty, is this:



How can I not be epistemically certain of tautologies, when tautologies, by definition, are true; they cannot be false. If anything, tautologies seem like things I would be absolutely certain about. What am I missing?



I think he was getting at: Is misleading evidence really evidence at all?


For one thing, you may not recognize a tautology as a tautology. Or, of course, you may think that what is not a tautology is a tautology.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 04:09 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;103376 wrote:
For one thing, you may not recognize a tautology as a tautology. Or, of course, you may think that what is not a tautology is a tautology.


What does my recognizing a tautology is a tautology have to do with a tautology being a tautology? Likewise, what does my thinking that something is a tautology, when it was not a tautology, have to do with a tautology being a tautology?

Is a dog not a dog unless I recognize it as one? If I think a coil of rope is a snake, my mistake is my mistake, but the coil of rope is not a snake.
 
Emil
 
Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2009 05:04 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;103321 wrote:
Of course.
If we speak of epistemic certainty like this, I see no reason to even use the term. It is always logically possible that someone is wrong about whether p is true or false. Humans are fallible.


Well. I think it is worth noting that in this sense we are not epistemically certain (henceforth e-certain) of anything. I think that we are not this kind of philosophically certain about anything. I'm a hardcore fallibilist.


Zetherin;103321 wrote:
I found your initial analysis to hold practical application. I find kennethamy's analysis to cut the term epistemic certainty at its knees, rendering it almost useless, except in idealistic banter.


The problem are its implication: If someone happens to believe a true non-contingent proposition, then they are always e-certain.

Zetherin;103321 wrote:
Unless I am misunderstanding something here, which is very possible; I have a knack for it (misunderstanding)!


Everyone has. Often due to a lack of clarity on the part of the writer.


Zetherin;103321 wrote:
I would agree, for what it's worth. Still, something is making me consider whether misleading evidence is really evidence at all (strange, I know). Let me go back to the definitions of evidence.


Can you offer any reason to believe that evidence that is misleading is not evidence? Notice how this question is incoherent. It needs to be rephrased to something like: Can you offer any reason to believe that would be otherwise be considered evidence is not evidence when it is misleading?

---------- Post added 11-14-2009 at 12:06 AM ----------

Zetherin;103377 wrote:
What does my recognizing a tautology is a tautology have to do with a tautology being a tautology? Likewise, what does my thinking that something is a tautology, when it was not a tautology, have to do with a tautology being a tautology?

Is a dog not a dog unless I recognize it as one? If I think a coil of rope is a snake, my mistake is my mistake, but the coil of rope is not a snake.


That's not what he's getting at. He's getting at that people commonly make mistakes in regards to non-contingent matters, yet this analysis of e-certainty implies that people are e-certain about it such matters. That strikes me as wrong. E-certainty after all is the absence of the possibility of being wrong. I think some further clarification will clear the problems.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 14 Nov, 2009 12:19 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;103377 wrote:
What does my recognizing a tautology is a tautology have to do with a tautology being a tautology? Likewise, what does my thinking that something is a tautology, when it was not a tautology, have to do with a tautology being a tautology?

Is a dog not a dog unless I recognize it as one? If I think a coil of rope is a snake, my mistake is my mistake, but the coil of rope is not a snake.


But, if we do not recognize a tautology as a tautology, we may not be certain of it. Suppose all mathematical truths are tautologies. But some mathematical truths may be so complicated that I don't recognize it as a tautology. So I will not be certain of it. Although if I did recognize it as a tautology, I would be certain of it.

I think there is the failure to distinguish between a proposition being certain, and a person's being certain about some proposition. I think that when people talk about the certainty of a proposition, what they mean is that the proposition is a necessary truth. It is primarily people who are certain (or uncertain), not propositions.
 
Emil
 
Reply Sat 14 Nov, 2009 10:28 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;103412 wrote:
But, if we do not recognize a tautology as a tautology, we may not be certain of it. Suppose all mathematical truths are tautologies. But some mathematical truths may be so complicated that I don't recognize it as a tautology. So I will not be certain of it. Although if I did recognize it as a tautology, I would be certain of it.

I think there is the failure to distinguish between a proposition being certain, and a person's being certain about some proposition. I think that when people talk about the certainty of a proposition, what they mean is that the proposition is a necessary truth. It is primarily people who are certain (or uncertain), not propositions.


When someone says that he is e-certain that he knows that the Earth is round. What do you say to him?

When someone says that he is e-certain that 1+1=2. What do you say to him?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 14 Nov, 2009 11:03 am
@Emil,
Emil;103445 wrote:
When someone says that he is e-certain that he knows that the Earth is round. What do you say to him?

When someone says that he is e-certain that 1+1=2. What do you say to him?


If e-certain means knows without any possibility of error, I would say he is wrong. (But I would not think he really meant e-certain).
 
Emil
 
Reply Sat 14 Nov, 2009 12:14 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;103462 wrote:
If e-certain means knows without any possibility of error, I would say he is wrong. (But I would not think he really meant e-certain).


Which "he" are you talking about? The first or the second?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 16 Nov, 2009 10:13 am
@Emil,
Emil;103473 wrote:
Which "he" are you talking about? The first or the second?


Both. Unless he means, "feel certain".
 
 

 
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