Call for Papers: Digital Evidence

Call for Papers for Philosophy and Technology’s special issue on Digital Evidence

Guest EditorsScreen Shot 2016-02-01 at 17.20.26
Judith Simon (IT University Copenhagen & University of Vienna)
Shannon Vallor (Santa Clara University)

Digital technologies of the 21st century are profoundly transforming the nature of evidence and evidential practices in a wide range of domains, including science, medicine, law, education, journalism, government, public policy and global, national and domestic security. These changes call for rigorous analysis and critical reflection across a range of related topics and disciplines.

The effects and uses are as diverse as the technologies themselves. The much-heralded power of “Big Data” on an unprecedented scale is radically changing how, and from where, social science researchers, marketers and insurers draw their evidence of human behavior, desires and attitudes. Digital neuroimaging technologies are reshaping norms of evidence in the courtroom, in research labs and in doctors’ offices. Varied forms of drone imaging affect how military pilots and intelligence agencies identify and even define legitimate targets, how archeologists, marine biologists, geologists and conservation scientists understand and measure natural phenomena, and how local law enforcement agencies perceive crime and social unrest. Cellphone cameras, body cameras, webcams and hacked “data dumps” have radically changed how, and what, the public sees and knows. Future innovations in digital evidence promise to destabilize traditional evidential norms and practices even further.

The philosophical questions raised by such transformations are many. What if any conceptual shifts in traditional metaphysics and epistemology do these new evidential practices suggest? Are new ontologies of evidence, or new standards of justified belief and knowledge, needed to account for them? What normative considerations (epistemic, political, ethical or legal), should be brought to bear upon these developments? How do new digital technologies condition the relationship between evidence, knowledge, belief and trust? How do these changes affect our understanding of scientific inquiry and explanation, or the role of evidential practices in human cognition, affectivity and action? How are these technologies impacting the distribution of the social and political power of evidence? These are just a few of the critical questions that new and emerging evidential practices invite us to ask.

We solicit the submission of papers that investigate the way in which new and emerging digital technologies are changing evidential norms and practices, within any relevant practical context or contexts (e.g. natural or social science, law, journalism, public policy, medicine, security or intelligence, etc). While the motivating questions should be of a philosophical nature, we welcome submissions from any discipline and/or subdiscipline (for example: philosophy/sociology of science, ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, logic, law, psychology, media studies, criminal justice, political philosophy/science, and so on.)

Topics of special interest include: the impact of digital evidence on scientific research standards and practices; on the role of expertise; on notions of justification, confirmation and reasonable belief; on epistemic assessments of trust, reliability, objectivity and/or truth; on the cultivation of intellectual or moral virtues; on the relationship between modes of perception, affect, reflection and judgment; on individual, group and institutional practices of deliberation, verification and decision; or on the collection, dissemination, integrity and authority of information.

April 1, 2016: Deadline for paper submissions
June 1, 2016: Deadline reviews papers
July 1, 2016: Deadline revised papers
2016: Publication of the special issue

To submit a paper for this special issue, authors should go to the journal’s Editorial Manager
The author (or a corresponding author for each submission in case of co- authored papers) must register into EM.

The author must then select the special article type: “DIGITAL EVIDENCE? from the selection provided in the submission process. This is needed in order to assign the submissions to the Guest Editors.
Submissions will then be assessed according to the following procedure:
New Submission => Journal Editorial Office => Guest Editor(s) => Reviewers => Reviewers? Recommendations => Guest Editor(s)? Recommendation => Editor-in-Chief?s Final Decision => Author Notification of the Decision.
The process will be reiterated in case of requests for revisions.

For any further information please contact:

Judith Simon, <>

Shannon Vallor, <>

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