Of Truth, in Science and in Law
26 Pages Posted: 25 Mar 2008 Last revised: 29 Jul 2008
Abstract: This paper responds to the question posed in the announcement of the conference at Brooklyn Law School at which it was presented: if and how [the inquiry into the reliability of proffered scientific testimony mandated by Daubert] relates to 'truth,' and whose view of the truth should prevail. The first step is to sketch the legal history leading up to Daubert, and to explore some of the difficulties Daubert brought in its wake; the next, to develop an account of truth in the sciences that combines a full acknowledgment of the fallibility and incompleteness of the scientific enterprise with a robustly objective conception of truth - which helps us understand why the legal system often gets less than the best out of science; and finally, exploring the concept of legal truth, to show how false scientific clams sometimes get entrenched as legally reliable.
Keywords: Evidence law, Daubert trilogy, truth in science, warrant cnsensus, legal reliability, truth in law
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