Just Probabilities

Noûs (forthcoming)
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I defend the thesis that legal standards of proof are reducible to thresholds of probability. Many have rejected this thesis because it seems to entail that defendants can be found liable solely on the basis of statistical evidence. I argue that this inference is invalid. I do so by developing a view, called Legal Causalism, that combines Thomson's (1986) causal analysis of evidence with recent work in formal theories of causal inference. On this view, legal standards of proof can be reduced to probabilities, but deriving these probabilities involves more than just statistics.

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Chad Lee-Stronach
Northeastern University


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