Probability, Profiles, and ProofWe almost never know all the facts that we'd like to know, so we are forced to act on generalizations and probabilities. But at the same time, we have a great deal of anxiety about the law's use of generalizations and probabilities, especially when it makes decisions that significantly affect the course of identifiable individual's lives. This is a course in legal epistemology; we will try to figure out how and when the law may rely on generalizations and probabilities, and also when it may not. Topics covered will include: recovery for loss of chance; the law's hostility to merely statistical evidence; the nature of reasonable doubt; and the permissibility of racial and ethnic profiling. The readings will mix judicial decisions about these issues with articles and book excerpts that present philosophical analyses of them.
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