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Merdes, Christoph; Sydow, Momme von; Hahn, Ulrike (2020): Formal models of source reliability. In: Synthese
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Abstract

The paper introduces, compares and contrasts formal models of source reliability proposed in the epistemology literature, in particular the prominent models of Bovens and Hartmann (Bayesian epistemology, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2003) and Olsson (Episteme 8(02):127-143, 2011). All are Bayesian models seeking to provide normative guidance, yet they differ subtly in assumptions and resulting behavior. Models are evaluated both on conceptual grounds and through simulations, and the relationship between models is clarified. The simulations both show surprising similarities and highlight relevant differences between these models. Most importantly, however, our evaluations reveal that important normative concerns arguably remain unresolved. The philosophical implications of this for testimony are discussed.