Evidence, Inference and Enquiry

ISBN : 9780197264843

William Twining; Philip Dawid; Mimi Vasilaki
504 Pages
165 x 240 mm
Pub date
Dec 2011
Proceedings of the British Academy
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Evidence - its nature and interpretation - is the key to many topical debates and concerns such as global warming, evolution, the search for weapons of mass destruction, DNA profiling, evidence-based medicine. In 2004 University College London launched a cross-disciplinary research programme "Evidence, Inference and Enquiry" to explore the question: "Can there be an integrated multidisciplinary science of evidence?" While this question was hotly contested and no clear final consensus emerged, much was learned on the journey. This book, based on the closing conference of the programme held at the British Academy in December 2007, illustrates the complexity of the subject, with 17 chapters written from a diversity of perspectives including Archaeology, Computer Science, Economics, Education, Health, History, Law, Psychology, Philosophy and Statistics. General issues covered include principles and systems for handling complex evidence, evidence for policy-making, and human evidence-processing, as well as the very possibility of systematising the study of evidence.


1. Introduction
2. Classifying Forms and Combinations of Evidence: Necessary in a Science of Evidence
3. Disciplining the Disciplines
4. Moving Beyond Law: Interdisciplinarity and the Study of Evidence
5. Inference Networks: Bayes and Wigmore
6. Arguing about the Evidence: A Logical Approach
7. Thinking about Evidence
8. Rhetoric and Argumentation in Evidence-Based Policy Making
9. Generalisations and Evidential Reasoning
10. Of Inference Networks and Onto-Epistemology
11. A Theory of Evidence for Evidence-Based Policy
12. What the Ravens Really Teach Us: The Intrinsic Contextuality of Evidence
13. Critical Distance: Stabilizing Evidential Claims in Archaeology
14. In Praise of Randomisation
15. Believing the Evidence
16. What Would a Scientific Economics Look Like?
17. Reasonable Doubt: Uncertainty in Education, Science and Law

About the author: 

Philip Dawid, Professor of Statistics, University of Cambridge; William Twining, Quain Professor of Jurisprudence Emeritus, University College London; Mimi Vasilaki

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