The Independence Condition in the Variety-of-Evidence Thesis

Abstract

The variety-of-evidence thesis has been criticized by Bovens and Hartmann. This article points to two limitations of their Bayesian model: the conceptualization of unreliable evidential sources as randomizing and the restriction to comparing full independence to full dependence. It is shown that the variety-of-evidence thesis is rehabilitated when unreliable sources are reconceptualized as systematically biased. However, it turns out that allowing for degrees of independence leads to a qualification of the variety-of-evidence thesis: as Bovens and Hartmann claimed, more independence does not always imply stronger confirmation.

This content has been updated on July 25th, 2016 at 21 h 44 min.