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The Probable and The Provable$
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L. Jonathan Cohen

Print publication date: 1977

Print ISBN-13: 9780198244127

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198244127.001.0001

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The Case against a Mathematicist Account of Judicial Probability

The Case against a Mathematicist Account of Judicial Probability

(p.116) 11 The Case against a Mathematicist Account of Judicial Probability
The Probable and The Provable

L. Jonathan Cohen

Oxford University Press

This chapter investigates the case against a mathematicist account of judicial probability. It considers the influence of accumulated anomalies. Each of the six anomalies in a mathematicist analysis of juridical proof might be tolerable on its own. But together, they constitute a reason for preferring an analysis of juridical proof that is not confronted by such anomalies — if an analysis of this kind is available. It does not disputed that a mathematicist analysis may fit the actual procedures illegitimately employed by some lawyers or triers of fact, or that it might fit the correct procedures in a suitably altered legal system. But at present the laymen who serve on juries must be presumed capable of operating with a different concept of probability than the mathematical one.

Keywords:   judicial probability, mathematicist analysis, anomalies, juridical proof, lawyers, triers, legal system

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