- Title Pages
- Dedication
- Preface
- Introduction
- 1 The Problem for a Polycriterial Theory of Probability
- 2 Probability as Gradation of Provability
- 3 The Completeness Issue
- 4 What are the Standards of Proof in Courts of Law?
- 5 The Difficulty about Conjunction
- 6 The Difficulty about Inference upon Inference
- 7 The Difficulty about Negation
- 8 The Difficulty about Proof beyond Reasonable Doubt
- 9 The Difficulty about a Criterion
- 10 The Difficulty about Corroboration and Convergence
- 11 The Case against a Mathematicist Account of Judicial Probability
- 12 The Foundations of Inductive Logic
- 13 The Grading of Inductive Support
- 14 The Logical Syntax of Inductive Support-gradings
- 15 The Incommensurability of Inductive Support and Mathematical Probability
- 16 The Grading of Inductive Probability
- 17 The Logical Syntax of Inductive Probability-gradings
- 18 The Assessment of Judicial Proof
- 19 Resolution of Six Difficulties for a Mathematicist Account of Judicial Proof
- 20 Criteria of Merit for Explanations of Individual Events
- 21 Statistical Explanation
- 22 Criteria of Rational Belief
- 23 Dispositions
- 24 An Epistemological Corollary
- Index

# The Difficulty about Proof beyond Reasonable Doubt

# The Difficulty about Proof beyond Reasonable Doubt

- Chapter:
- (p.82) 8 The Difficulty about Proof beyond Reasonable Doubt
- Source:
- The Probable and The Provable
- Author(s):
### L. Jonathan Cohen

- Publisher:
- Oxford University Press

This chapter presents an elaboration on the difficulty about proof beyond reasonable doubt. It is more inclined to hold that a particular conclusion falls short of certainty because there is a particular, specifiable reason for doubting it, than to hold that it is reasonable to doubt the conclusion because it falls short of certainty. Hence a scale of mathematical probability is used for assessing proof beyond reasonable doubt. What is needed instead is a list of all the points that have to be established in relation to each element in the crime. Not that a high statistical probability is necessarily useless; but it must enter into a proof as a fact from which to argue rather than as a measure of the extent to which a conclusion has been established, and its relevance must also be separately established.

*Keywords:*
proof, mathematical probability, certainty, reasonable doubt, crime, statistical probability

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- Title Pages
- Dedication
- Preface
- Introduction
- 1 The Problem for a Polycriterial Theory of Probability
- 2 Probability as Gradation of Provability
- 3 The Completeness Issue
- 4 What are the Standards of Proof in Courts of Law?
- 5 The Difficulty about Conjunction
- 6 The Difficulty about Inference upon Inference
- 7 The Difficulty about Negation
- 8 The Difficulty about Proof beyond Reasonable Doubt
- 9 The Difficulty about a Criterion
- 10 The Difficulty about Corroboration and Convergence
- 11 The Case against a Mathematicist Account of Judicial Probability
- 12 The Foundations of Inductive Logic
- 13 The Grading of Inductive Support
- 14 The Logical Syntax of Inductive Support-gradings
- 15 The Incommensurability of Inductive Support and Mathematical Probability
- 16 The Grading of Inductive Probability
- 17 The Logical Syntax of Inductive Probability-gradings
- 18 The Assessment of Judicial Proof
- 19 Resolution of Six Difficulties for a Mathematicist Account of Judicial Proof
- 20 Criteria of Merit for Explanations of Individual Events
- 21 Statistical Explanation
- 22 Criteria of Rational Belief
- 23 Dispositions
- 24 An Epistemological Corollary
- Index