A Note to My Philosophical Friends About Expertise and Legal Systems

Humana-Mente - Journal of Philosophical Studies, Forthcoming

Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 15-27

12 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2015 Last revised: 5 May 2015

Date Written: April 21, 2015

Abstract

This brief essay explores how understanding the treatment of expert evidence requires engaging with its legal and political contexts, and not just focusing on its epistemological aspects. Although the law of evidence and thus its treatment of experts is significantly informed by epistemological considerations, it is also informed by concerns over the organization of trials, larger issues of intelligent governance, social concerns, and enforcement issues. These five aspects to the law of evidence give rise to principles to guide the explicit structuring of the law of evidence that are identified here as well. This complexity helps to explain why the central issue of expert testimony is not the epistemological one of knowledge and belief but instead the conflict between educational and deferential modes of trial.

Keywords: evidence, procedure, testimony, expert testimony, knowledge, belief, justified belief, justified true belief

Suggested Citation

Allen, Ronald Jay, A Note to My Philosophical Friends About Expertise and Legal Systems (April 21, 2015). Humana-Mente - Journal of Philosophical Studies, Forthcoming; Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 15-27. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2597330

Ronald Jay Allen (Contact Author)

Northwestern University Law School ( email )

375 E. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
United States
312-503-8372 (Phone)
312-503-2035 (Fax)

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