Confidence in Claims

by Richard Baron


This book is about claims that experts make in various academic disciplines, and about how features of disciplines should affect our confidence in the correctness of those claims. Our field of study is work in the full range of disciplines, covering mathematics, the natural sciences, the social sciences and the humanities.

Disciplines differ from one another in several ways. Quantification and mathematical argument are the norm in some disciplines, but are rare in others. Some disciplines use experiments, while others rely on sources. And so on. But disciplines also have things in common. These include both the aspiration to get things right, and fundamental principles like respect for evidence and a requirement to argue rationally. We seek to lay out the differences and the commonalities in detail, and to assess the effects on our confidence. We also explore reasons why disciplines have their features.

The book is an open-access publication, under the CC BY-ND 4.0 licence.

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The ISBN of the printed book is 978-1518766091.

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