Burdens of proof and the case for unevenness

Aijaz, Imran and McKeown-Green, Jonathan and Webster, Aness (2013) Burdens of proof and the case for unevenness. Argumentation, 27 (3). pp. 259-282. ISSN 1572-8374

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Abstract

How is the burden of proof to be distributed among individuals who are involved in resolving a particular issue? Under what conditions should the burden of proof be distributed unevenly? We distinguish attitudinal from dialectical burdens and argue that these questions should be answered differently, depending on which is in play. One has an attitudinal burden with respect to some proposition when one is required to possess sufficient evidence for it. One has a dialectical burden with respect to some proposition when one is required to provide supporting arguments for it as part of a deliberative process. We show that the attitudinal burden with respect to certain propositions is unevenly distributed in some deliberative contexts, but in all of these contexts, establishing the degree of support for the proposition is merely a means to some other deliberative end, such as action guidance, or persuasion. By contrast, uneven distributions of the dialectical burden regularly further the aims of deliberation, even in contexts where the quest for truth is the sole deliberative aim, rather than merely a means to some different deliberative end. We argue that our distinction between these two burdens resolves puzzles about unevenness that have been raised in the literature.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The final publication is available at Springer via http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10503-012-9285-4
Keywords: Burden of Proof, Presumption, Argumentation, Expected Utility
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham UK Campus > Faculty of Arts > School of Humanities > Department of Philosophy
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10503-012-9285-4
Depositing User: Eprints, Support
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2016 13:42
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2016 20:08
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/31994

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