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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

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Date posted: April 29, 2010 ; Last revised: June 1, 2010

Suggested Citation

Pardo, Michael S., The Gettier Problem and Legal Proof (2010). Legal Theory, Vol. 16, 2010; U of Alabama Public Law Research Paper No. 1596709. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1596709

Contact Information

Michael S. Pardo (Contact Author)
University of Alabama School of Law ( email )
P.O. Box 870382
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
United States

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