Joseph at Ironical Coincidings has an excellent post on reasonable doubt, Socrates, and jury-men. I had to reblog it.
Last night I had a long conversation about what role, if any, probabilistic evidence should have in our reasoning about “the things that matter” (meaning, I suppose, the fundamental structure of our relationships with each other, the world, God, ourselves.) What are we to make of language like this:
- “Considering all the arguments for and against, I hold there to be a 90% chance that God exists, and so call myself a deist.”
- “Considering all the arguments for and against, I’m 95% certain I should marry this woman, and so will do so (if she consents).”
- “Considering all the arguments for and against, I’m 99% sure he committed the crime, and so vote to convict.”
Has it any place in philosophical discourse?
The class for which I’m TAing has recently been reading Plato’s Gorgias, in which Socrates has this to say about refutation (in Donald Zeyl’s translation):
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