Conductive Argumentation, Degrees of Confidence, and the Communication of Uncertainty
We argue in this paper that there is an epistemic obligation to communicate the appropriate degree of confidence when asserting conclusions in conductive argumentation. This runs contrary to the position of those theorists who contend that once the conclusion to a conductive argument is drawn, it is simply asserted in an unqualified manner. We argue, on the contrary, that, in many contexts, we do qualify our conclusions and further, that we have an epistemic responsibility to do so. As an illustration, we discuss the case of the Italian scientists tried for failing to convey to the public appropriate warnings of the risks of the earthquake in L’Aquila.
KeywordsJustify Belief Medium Confidence Epistemic Authority Individual Argument Epistemic Obligation
We would like to thank Monica Bhattacharjee for her contribution to the preparation of this paper.
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