Statistical resentment, or: what’s wrong with acting, blaming, and believing on the basis of statistics alone

David Enoch*, Levi Spectre

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Statistical evidence—say, that 95% of your co-workers badmouth each other—can never render resenting your colleague appropriate, in the way that other evidence (say, the testimony of a reliable friend) can. The problem of statistical resentment is to explain why. We put the problem of statistical resentment in several wider contexts: The context of the problem of statistical evidence in legal theory; the epistemological context—with problems like the lottery paradox for knowledge, epistemic impurism and doxastic wrongdoing; and the context of a wider set of examples of responses and attitudes that seem not to be appropriately groundable in statistical evidence. Regrettably, we do not come up with a fully general, fully adequate, fully unified account of all the phenomena discussed. But we give reasons to believe that no such account is forthcoming, and we sketch a somewhat messier account that may be the best that can be had here.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)5687-5718
Number of pages32
JournalSynthese
Volume199
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V. part of Springer Nature.

Keywords

  • Epistemic impurism
  • Moral encroachment
  • Pragmatic encroachment
  • Resentment
  • Statistical evidence

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