PhilSci Archive

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

Justification and the Growth of Error - final - Roush - 2013.pdf

Download (102kB) | Preview


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.

Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Published Article or Volume
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:
DOI or Unique Handle: 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

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item