One Small Step Towards a Metatheory of Evidence and Proof

International Journal of Evidence and Proof, vol 23 (January 2019)

15 Pages Posted: 14 Feb 2019

See all articles by Frederick Schauer

Frederick Schauer

University of Virginia School of Law

Date Written: January 2019

Abstract

In recent years, some scholars of evidence and proof, Ronald Allen and Michael Pardo among them, have maintained that the best account of the process of proof in courts is one in which the decision-maker holistically chooses between competing explanations, rather than engaging in a more probabilistic assessment, and rather than evaluating items of evidence sequentially in a process best understood as Bayesian updating. Some of the existing explanationist accounts, however, fail to distinguish the question whether items of evidence are considered sequentially or holistically from the question whether evidentiary assessments whether of individual items or all items of evidence taken together, are or are not evaluated probabilistically. This comments seeks to distinguish these two questions, and to inquire into just what it is that a theory of evidence is actually a theory of.

Keywords: Evidence, Prof, Bayesianism, Probabilism, Explanations

Suggested Citation

Schauer, Frederick, One Small Step Towards a Metatheory of Evidence and Proof (January 2019). International Journal of Evidence and Proof, vol 23 (January 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3329064

Frederick Schauer (Contact Author)

University of Virginia School of Law ( email )

580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States
434-924-6777 (Phone)

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