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Reasonable Doubt: An epistemological and psychological approach

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 ReaDoubt project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the ReaDoubt project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "ReaDoubt" about.

dynamics    decision    jurors    waiting    error    makers    agents    view    epistemic    expert    exogenous    degree    updates    interdisciplinary    criminal    shed    first    original    inaction    convicting    impermeable    actual    confidence    candidate    thoroughly    weighing    scenarios    decisional    psychological    experimental    seems    light    hypothesis    acceptance    acting    independent    consequentiality    verdict    complete    theoretic    skills    contexts    unreasonable    action    evaluation    consequential    psychology    policy    relative    reasonable    assumption    belief    notion    acquire    accepting    fellowship    degrees    evidential    assesses    pieces    epistemological    doctors    virtue    reasoning    decisions    until    depending    juror    nature    purpose    acted    rational    doubt    hypotheses    relies    norms    confirmed    benefits    supervision    philosopher    empirical    trials    certainty    threshold    option    defendant    context    alternative    specialist    accepted   

Project "ReaDoubt" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: LONDON
postcode: WC1E 7HX

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Project website
 Total cost 183˙454 €
 EC max contribution 183˙454 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2014
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2015
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2015-09-01   to  2018-04-20


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

The purpose of this research is to shed light on the nature and dynamics of doubt and confidence in complex epistemic decision-making, through a study of the notion of reasonable doubt. While doubt is considered a rational virtue, waiting until complete certainty before accepting and acting upon a given hypothesis is unreasonable in many contexts. Given some evidential support for the hypothesis, the threshold beyond which acceptance rather than doubt is the reasonable option seems to depend on the decisional context (particularly the cost of a possible error): jurors in criminal trials should thoroughly consider alternative scenarios before convicting a defendant; doctors or policy-makers, however, may have to take action upon less strongly confirmed hypotheses, depending on the relative costs and benefits of action/inaction. Such a decision-theoretic view of reasonable doubt relies on the assumption that the consequences of an hypothesis are exogenous to the rational evaluation of its evidential support: one first updates one’s degree of belief in view of the evidence, and then assesses whether, given the context, the hypothesis is beyond reasonable doubt (i.e. should be accepted and acted upon). But is it the case that agents’ degrees of confidence in a hypothesis, and their weighing of various pieces of evidence, are impermeable to the decisional context? Is the juror’s actual belief independent from her having to bring a consequential verdict? This research aims to study the epistemological norms of reasonable doubt, taking account of the psychological reality of the agents’ reasoning. The main objective of the fellowship is to develop an original empirical research programme, testing the effects of the consequentiality of epistemic decisions on reasoning. This interdisciplinary project requires the candidate, an expert philosopher, to acquire experimental skills and knowledge in psychology, under the supervision of a specialist in the psychology of reasoning.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
65535 Marion Vorms
La valeur probante du témoignage : perspectives épistémologique et juridique
published pages: 21-52, ISSN: 0241-2799, DOI:
Cahiers Philosophiques 142 2019-06-18
2018 Marion Vorms
Qu\'est-ce qu\'un doute raisonnable ?
published pages: , ISSN: 0035-3833, DOI:
Revue Philosophique de la France et de l\'Étranger 3 2019-06-18
2018 Philippe Huneman and Marion Vorms
Is a Unified Account of Conspiracy Theories Possible?
published pages: 49-72, ISSN: 2465-2334, DOI: 10.23811/54.arg2017.hun.vor
Argumenta 3(2) 2019-06-18

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