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Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

IAS Fellows' Seminar - Must evidence be true?

14th March 2016, 13:00 to 14:00, IAS Seminar Room, Palace Green, Professor Jessica Brown (University of St Andrews, UK)

One key issue which separates contemporary philosophical accounts of evidence is the issue of whether evidence must be true. On the one hand, it might seem obvious that evidence can be false. For example, a witness might lie in court, claiming that she saw the accused stab the victim although she didn’t. On the other hand, there seems something wrong about simultaneously citing something as evidence while knowing it is false. For example, if the witness is found to be lying, we can no longer say that part of the evidence that the accused is guilty is that the accused stabbed the victim. The question of whether we allow evidence to be false isn’t merely terminological. For, it may affect our assessment of whether certain beliefs and actions based on them are justified or rational, and how justified or rational they are.

Fellows' seminars take place on Monday lunchtimes in the seminar room at Cosin's Hall.

Places are limited and so any academic colleagues interested in attending a seminar should contact the Institute in advance to reserve a place.

The aim of these seminars is to develop new thinking on the big issues that are of current concern/interest for the Fellows . Each Fellow is asked to present a core idea that informs their current work, or a problem that they are tackling, that could benefit from cross-disciplinary thinking. These seminars are informal and designed to encourage discussion.

Contact enquriries.ias@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.