Is truth in the law just plain truth - or something sui generis? Is a trial a search for truth? Do adversarial procedures and exclusionary rules of evidence enable, or impede, the accurate determination of factual issues? Can degrees of proof be identified with mathematical probabilities? What role can statistical evidence properly play? How can courts best handle the scientific testimony on which cases sometimes turn? How are they to distinguish reliable scientific testimony from unreliable hokum? These interdisciplinary essays explore such questions about science, proof, and truth in the law. With her characteristic clarity and verve, Haack brings her original and distinctive work in theory of knowledge and philosophy of science to bear on real-life legal issues. She includes detailed analyses of a wide variety of cases and lucid summaries of relevant scientific work, of the many roles of the scientific peer-review system, and of relevant legal developments.
Susan Haack is Distinguished Professor in the Humanities, Cooper Senior Scholar in Arts and Sciences, Professor of Philosophy, and Professor of Law at the University of Miami. She is the author of numerous highly acclaimed books, among them Evidence and Inquiry and Defending Science, Within Reason, and of many articles in legal, philosophical, and scientific journals. Haack is one of a tiny number of living philosophers included in Peter J. King, 100 Philosophers: The Life and Work of the World's Greatest Thinkers (2004); and she appeared on The Independent on Sunday's list of the ten most important women philosophers of all time (2005).
1. Epistemology and the law of evidence: problems and projects; 2. Epistemology legalized: or, truth, justice, and the American way; 3. Legal probabilism: an epistemological dissent; 4. Irreconcilable differences? The troubled marriage of science and law; 5. Trial and error: two confusions in Daubert; 6. Federal philosophy of science: a deconstruction - and a reconstruction; 7. Peer review and publication: lessons for lawyers; 8. What's wrong with litigation-driven science?; 9. Proving causation: the weight of combined evidence; 10. Correlation and causation: the 'Bradford Hill Criteria' in epidemiological, legal, and epistemological perspective; 11. Risky business: statistical proof of specific causation; 12. Nothing fancy: some simple truths about truth in the law.