The Gettier Problem and Legal Proof
Michael S. Pardo
University of Alabama School of Law
Legal Theory, Vol. 16, 2010
U of Alabama Public Law Research Paper No. 1596709
This article explores the relationships between legal proof and fundamental epistemic concepts such as knowledge and justification. A survey of the legal literature reveals a confusing array of seemingly inconsistent proposals and presuppositions regarding these relationships. This article makes two contributions. First, it reconciles a number of apparent inconsistencies and tensions in accounts of the epistemology of legal proof. Second, it argues that there is a deeper connection between knowledge and legal proof than is typically argued for or presupposed in the legal literature. This connection is illustrated through a discussion of the Gettier problem in epistemology. It is argued that the gap or disconnect between truth and justification that undermines knowledge in Gettier cases also potentially undermines the success of legal verdicts.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 41
Keywords: epistemology, legal proof, knowledge, truth, justification, belief, acceptance, verdicts, judgments, Gettier, material error, probatory error
Date posted: April 29, 2010 ; Last revised: June 1, 2010
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