Probabilistic Interpretation, Part II: The Case of the Speluncean Explorers

13 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2017

See all articles by F. E. Guerra-Pujol

F. E. Guerra-Pujol

University of Central Florida; Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico

Date Written: January 2, 2017


Lon Fuller’s “Case of the Speluncean Explorers,” a hypothetical murder case involving a group of cannibalistic cave explorers, is one of the most well-known thought experiments in the field of law. Legal scholars and law students continue to use Fuller’s famous case to explore a wide variety of theoretical and practical questions in law. To our knowledge, however, no one has used Fuller’s imaginary case to address questions of judicial voting or human vs. machine judges. In this paper, we imagine an alternative system of appellate voting, a cardinal voting system in which judges assign a score to their preferred judicial outcome. Appellate courts, including the make-believe court in Fuller’s hypothetical, generally use an ordinal system of voting (i.e. one judge, one vote) to decide cases. By contrast, we propose a simple cardinal voting system for deciding appellate cases, using Fuller’s famous hypothetical to illustrate how our simple system of cardinal voting would work in practice.

Keywords: Bayesian Probability, Degrees of Belief, Cardinal Voting, Range Voting, Lon Fuller

JEL Classification: D72, D74, K40

Suggested Citation

Guerra-Pujol, F. E., Probabilistic Interpretation, Part II: The Case of the Speluncean Explorers (January 2, 2017). Available at SSRN: or

F. E. Guerra-Pujol (Contact Author)

University of Central Florida ( email )

Orlando, FL 32816
United States


Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico ( email )

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics