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What does it mean for a source of evidence to be reliable?

Comprehension Questions

a. What does it mean for a source of evidence to be reliable?

b. Why is reliability a matter of degree?

c. Explain why reliability is topic relative? Could there be a source of evidence whose reliability is not topic relative? Explain.

d. What is the difference between overriding and undermining evidence?

e. Construct an example of a case in which some evidence is overridden but not undermined.

f. Could a source that is highly reliable nonetheless provide false evidence? Describe an example other than the ones discussed in the text.

g. Suppose that you had evidence that undermined the evidence provided by some source of evidence, S. Could it still be that S is highly reliable? Explain, and use examples to illustrate.

h. Suppose that the evidence provided from one source always conflicted with the evidence provided by another source. Should we continue to trust those sources? Which one should we doubt?

i. Some people think that fortune telling is a good source of evidence. What do you think? Why?

j. Suppose that we wanted to determine whether perceptual observation is a reliable source of evidence about the colors of medium-sized objects. How could we do this?

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