As we mentioned in a previous post (part 4 of our review of Allen and Pardo’s relative plausibility paper), “plausibility”, however defined, is just another word for “probability.” Yet, this notion of plausibility, though simple and intuitive, is a crude concept at best–not because it eschews the use of numerical values; but rather because it expresses only one shade of the probability continuum. It turns out there are many different words and phrases to describe many different levels of probability. [See chart below. More details are available here (via Wikipedia) and here too (via the CIA Library).] The main point (the one most relevant to the legal proof literature) is that we don’t always need to express our probabilities (or subjective degrees of belief) using numerical values. Words can work just fine, but we will need more than one word.
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