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Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

REARRANGED FROM 3 February - Evidence, Policy and Regulations series - Evidence Synthesis by Building a Case (Workshop 2: Amalgamation and the Principle of Total Evidence)

3rd May 2016, 13:00 to 17:00, Old Library, Grey College, Professor Monika Schnitzer

Please note that the date of this workshop has been rearranged from 03 February 2016.

Organised by Professor Julian Reiss (Durham University)

The Principle of Total Evidence is the recommendation to use all the available evidence when estimating the probability of a hypothesis (Carnap 1947). While seemingly uncontroversial, upon reflection the principle is more problematic than at first sight. On the one hand, it is, at least implicitly, denied by proponents of evidence-based approaches in the sciences: they recommend instead only to use evidence that has passed a certain quality threshold. On the other, what the principle really entails depends greatly on how to interpret ‘available’. Does it mean ‘known by the agent who makes the probability estimate’ or ‘known by the community of researchers’ or ‘knowable after a suitable search period’? Might it entail a demand to make new observations and experiments?

With thanks to Durham's Institute of Advanced Study, The British Academy and the ERC for their support with this event.

Contact for more information about this event.

Contact for more information about this event.