New Books Network

Susan Haack

Evidence Matters

Science, Proof, and Truth in the Law

Cambridge University Press 2014

New Books in LawNew Books in PhilosophyNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in Science & TechnologyNew Books in Science, Technology, and SocietyNew Books Network October 1, 2014 Robert Talisse

Our legal systems are rooted in rules and procedures concerning the burden of proof, the weighing of evidence, the reliability and admissibility of testimony,...

Our legal systems are rooted in rules and procedures concerning the burden of proof, the weighing of evidence, the reliability and admissibility of testimony, among much else. It seems obvious, then, that the law is in large part an epistemological enterprise.  And yet when one looks at the ways in which judges have wielded epistemological concepts, there is plenty of room for concern.

In Evidence Matters: Science, Proof, and Truth in the Law (Cambridge University Press, 2014), Susan Haack brings her skill as an epistemologist to bear on a series of tangles concerning the legal concepts of proof, evidence, and reliability, especially as they apply in a series of notorious toxic tort cases. Along the way, she exposes several philosophical confusions in the law’s current understanding of the epistemological concepts it wields, and shows how her own distinctive epistemology–Foundherentism–can be useful to the law.