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Foundations of Evidence Law$
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Alex Stein

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780198257363

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198257363.001.0001

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Epistemological Corollary

Epistemological Corollary

(p.34) 2 Epistemological Corollary
Foundations of Evidence Law

Alex Stein

Oxford University Press

This chapter defines the characteristics of adjudicative fact-finding. It identifies and analyzes two fundamental problems — uncertainty and justification. It underscores the importance of best-evidence principle as an epistemic device for controlling evidence-selection. The chapter also identifies the epistemic criteria for determining the probabilities of the relevant factual scenarios on the evidence previously selected. These criteria are empirical; they include common sense, logic, and general experience. It analyzes the skeptical challenges to these criteria, which point to the impossibility of rational and justified fact-finding.

Keywords:   adjudicative fact-finding, uncertainty, justification, best-evidence principle, evidence selection

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