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The Probable and The Provable$
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L. Jonathan Cohen

Print publication date: 1977

Print ISBN-13: 9780198244127

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198244127.001.0001

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The Difficulty about Corroboration and Convergence

The Difficulty about Corroboration and Convergence

Chapter:
(p.93) 10 The Difficulty about Corroboration and Convergence
Source:
The Probable and The Provable
Author(s):

L. Jonathan Cohen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198244127.003.0011

This chapter examines the difficulty about corroboration and convergence. It begins by addressing the common structure of testimonial corroboration and circumstantial convergence. The chapter also considers the traditional, Bernoullian analysis. The elucidation that has been most commonly proposed is at least as old as James Bernoulli's Ars Conjectandi. The chapter describes it in the admirably perspicuous form in which it was expounded by George Boole. In addition, the need to take prior probabilities into account is shown. Moreover, a demonstrably adequate analysis of corroboration and convergence in terms of mathematical probability is presented. It then reports the legal inadmissibility of positive prior probabilities. The method of contraposition is elaborated as well.

Keywords:   testimonial corroboration, circumstantial convergence, Bernoullian analysis, James Bernoulli, George Boole, mathematical probability, method of contraposition

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