Evidence definition from recent Mind article

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08 Jun 2018 02:54 - 08 Jun 2018 03:01 #322553 by TheDude
"Evidence", defined by Nevin Climenhaga (2018), Mind, Vol. 127, Issue 505:

"As I use the term 'evidence'... E is evidence for T relative to background knowledge K iff P(T|E&K) > P(T|K) -- that is, E raises the probability of T relative to K. A person takes E to be evidence for T or uses it as evidence relative to K iff his conditional credence in T given E&K is greater than his conditional credence in T given K. So... my use of 'evidence' is non-factive in the sense that E can be evidence for T even if E is false."

The title of the article is Intuitions are Used as Evidence in Philosophy.

I found this interesting. Any thoughts?

Edit: To be clear, I'm interested in if this is in accordance with your own definitions of evidence and what implications this particular definition might have. The author states that some people might be bothered by it, so I'd like to hear a variety of opinions.
Last edit: 08 Jun 2018 03:01 by TheDude.
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08 Jun 2018 15:23 #322568 by Gisteron
The man says it himself. He is explicating what someone means (whether they appreciate it or not) when they speak of evidence. They take a piece of information to be evidence in favour of a proposition if and only if they are more willing to accept the proposition already believing the piece of information than they would be otherwise. He is not so much declaring what evidence is supposed to be than what it is we mean when we speak of it.
No, of course it is for many not comfortable to admit, or indeed to be told that what we hold as evidence is really just what ever makes us more credulous rather than anything vaguely implicative of the proposition in question. But he is not wrong. We do not have access to "truth" beyond the purely formal. While reality - again, to the extent that there even is any such thing - wouldn't much care about what we think of it, what we think of it is the only thing we have any chance or reason to care about, and so what ever we argue, no matter how closely we believe it tied to the external world, nonetheless does not become an argument until well after we process it internally.
If I had to pick one thing that bothered me most or at all about this explication, it'd have to be the liberal use of the notation from probability, when all he is speaking of is mere individual credulity. Too many are too happy to conflate the two and I myself was about to mistake his meaning for the assertion that E is evidence of T if even to merely believe E renders the truthiness of T more likely, when he is saying nothing of the sort.

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09 Jun 2018 02:24 #322596 by Adder
I'll have this wrong probably, but I'll have a stab at it... Saturday morning and feeling hung over despite not having the drinks to earn it LOL.

So E is the taste of an apple, T is what we expect an Apple to taste like, and K is the memory of what Apples can taste like? Then K (memory of Apples tastes) defines the scope of E's (this thing tastes like) 'factiveness' - to nothing more then the set of tasted Apples. That would be me using K as first hand experience I guess.... as T must be different from K enough for it not to be already part of K. Because I'm thinking if E was too different from K then it would not be considered evidence.

Therefore E (the taste matching Apples) is nothing more then an addition to that closed set of K (Apples) - or not. So that definition of factivness really wouldn't seem to be the most useful as anything more then assessing similarity. That is my guess for what is being said, as it is what I could read from it.

Maybe E (taste) as evidence is true if T (expectations) is to K (experience) in something like the mathematics concepts continuity, connectedness, and compactness. Insofar as being of T (expectations) might associate to an additional variables within truth, ie a 'good or bad' Apple.... as perhaps we're all euclidean 'Open Balls', and E just serves as truth within the closed set of each of us. Asserting its truth to other closed sets needs some shared parameters and this is where probability probably enters into things.

I'd be more interested the scope of iterations possible or likely from/with the eating of Apples, in an effort to approximate a larger or largest possible 'knowledge' of them, as a way to assess probability that different tastes are or are not Apples - then just rely on my own or other peoples experiences of it.

And to assert different tasting Apples existence in the open set would be another probability function as well I suppose, based on some more parameters about Apples - but the'd be very similar I imagine. Don't trust me with something I dunno about and a few minutes with Wikipedia though, anyone have an aspirin or do I need something stronger..... all I'm seeing is Apples :silly:

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