Ratio Juris 25 (2):206-235 (2012)

Susan Haack
University of Miami
In ordinary circumstances, we can assess the worth of evidence well enough without benefit of any theory; but when evidence is especially complex, ambiguous, or emotionally disturbing—as it often is in legal contexts—epistemological theory may be helpful. A legal fact-finder is asked to determine whether the proposition that the defendant is guilty, or is liable, is established to the required degree of proof by the [admissible] evidence presented; i.e., to make an epistemological appraisal. The foundherentist theory developed in Evidence and Inquiry can help us understand what this means; and reveals that degrees of proof cannot be construed as mathematical probabilities: a point illustrated by comparing the advantages of a foundherentist analysis with the disadvantages of probabilistic analyses of the evidence in the Sacco and Vanzetti case (1921), and of the role of the statistical evidence in Collins (1968)
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9337.2012.00510.x
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References found in this work BETA

Fact, Fiction, and Forecast.Nelson Goodman - 1955 - Harvard University Press.
Epistemology and Cognition.Alvin Ira Goldman - 1986 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Harvard University Press.
Knowledge in a Social World.Alvin Ira Goldman - 1999 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
A Treatise on Probability.John Maynard Keynes - 1921 - London, England: Dover Publications.
Human Knowledge: Its Scope and Limits.Bertrand Russell - 1948 - London and New York: Routledge.

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Foundations of Evidence Law.Alex Stein - 2005 - Oxford University Press.
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