No matter how irrefutable it may seem, evidence is often a matter of interpretation. Incomplete, inconclusive, imprecise, or vague, it is nonetheless the basis of myriad everyday conclusions and decisions. In this authoritative work, David A. Schum develops a general theory of evidence as it is understood and applied across a broad range of disciplines and practical undertakings. Synthesizing insights from law, philosophy and logic, probability, semiotics, artificial intelligence, psychology, and history, Schum provides a detailed examination of the various properties and uses of evidence and the evaluative skills evidence requires. Along with the evidential subtleties of probabilistic reasoning, Schum also explores the processes by which evidence is generated or discovered and looks at the intellectual and practical underpinnings of probabilistic reasoning. It is a useful resourse for students, researchers, and practitioners of every discipline concerned with evidence and its inferential use.
David A. Schum is a professor of law and information technology and engineering at George Mason University. He is coauthor of A Probabilistic Analysis of the Sacco and Vanzetti Evidence and the coeditor of Decision Science and Technology: Reflections on the Contributions of Ward Edwards.