The epistemology of legal evidence

A reminder that the bumper issue of EPISTEME is available for free download. See the first paragraph below which discusses the lacuna this issue fills.

WALTER SINNOTT-ARMSTRONG AND FREDERICK SCHAUER

INTRODUCTION

Epistemology and the philosophy of law are both thriving, but it is unfortunate that there is so little interaction between the two. Few books on epistemology deal with legal evidence, and few books on the legal system’s approach to evidence even recognize the sphere of philosophical epistemology. Law is not listed in the index to the admirable Blackwell Companion to Epistemology, and its entry on evidence moves on quickly after distinguishing what epistemologists and lawyers mean by evidence. The Oxford Handbook on Epistemology also has no index entry on law and only one short discussion of how psychology has affected evidence law. Perhaps more surprisingly, the Oxford Handbook of Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law has 1,050 pages with no article or even entry in its index on evidence and only two pages that refer to epistemology. The Blackwell Companion to Philosophy of Law and Legal Theory does have one short article on evidence, but only one mention of epistemology or evidence outside of that article.