more from Timothy McGrew

Single Idea 19688

[catalogued under 13. Knowledge Criteria / B. Internal Justification / 3. Evidentialism / a. Evidence]

Full Idea

At a certain level of detail, almost any claim is unprecedented. How likely is 'Matilda won at Scrabble on Thursday with a score of 438 while drinking mint tea'? But there is nothing particularly unbelievable about the claim.

Gist of Idea

Every event is highly unlikely (in detail), but may be perfectly plausible


Timothy McGrew (Evidence [2011], 'Extraordinary')

Book Reference

'Routledge Companion to Epistemology', ed/tr. Bernecker,S/Pritchard,D [Routledge 2014], p.65

A Reaction

A striking idea, which rules out the simplistic idea that we can just assess evidence by its isolated likelihood. Context is crucial. How good is 438? What if she smoked opium? What if there is no Scrabble set on her island?