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Justification and the Growth of Error

Roush, Sherrilyn (2013) Justification and the Growth of Error. Philosophical Studies, 165 (2). pp. 527-551. ISSN 0031-8116

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Abstract

It is widely thought that in fallible reasoning potential error necessarily increases with every additional step, whether inferences or premises, in the same way that the probability of a lengthening conjunction shrinks. However, this has the absurd consequence that consulting an expert, proof-checking, filling gaps in proofs, and gathering more evidence for a given conclusion necessarily make us worse off, since they also add more steps. I will argue that the self-help steps listed here are of a distinctive type, involving composition rather than conjunction. Error grows differently over composition than over conjunction, I argue, and this dissolves the apparent paradox.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Roush, Sherrilynsherri.roush@gmail.com
Keywords: Justification • Growth of error • Internalism • Externalism • Connection thesis • Consulting experts • Reliability • Proof-checking • Reliability-checking • Double-checking • Evidence • Gap-free proof • Total probability
Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
General Issues > Evidence
Depositing User: Sherrilyn Roush
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2020 02:12
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2020 02:12
Item ID: 17415
Journal or Publication Title: Philosophical Studies
Publisher: Springer (Springer Science+Business Media B.V.)
Official URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/42920519
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1007/sl 1098-012-9967-7
Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
General Issues > Evidence
Date: 2013
Page Range: pp. 527-551
Volume: 165
Number: 2
ISSN: 0031-8116
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/17415

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