Epistemology & the Law of Evidence: Four Doubts About Alex Stein's Foundations of Evidence Law
31 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2006
Date Written: January 8, 2006
In Foundations of Evidence Law, Alex Stein provides an innovative understanding of the law of evidence. He divides evidence law into two distinct domains, moral and epistemological, and specifies principles which govern each. According to Stein, the primary domain is epistemological and morality picks up what the epistemology leaves off. In this paper, I dispute the role Stein gives to epistemology. I raise four doubts to undermine Stein's epistemological apparatus and challenge its usability, sustainability and justifiability. I also argue that whilst epistemology can give a broader understanding of the issues involved, it cannot provide principles or justifications for the law of evidence. The difficulties in Stein's theory result not only from the particular epistemological apparatus he develops, but also from his attempt to establish evidential principles that are epistemological in nature.
Keywords: Evidence, Epistemology, Stein, Moral
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