Smartt, T. (2020). Reconsidering the rule of consideration: Probabilistic knowledge and legal proof. Episteme, Early View Online First.
In this paper, I provide an argument for rejecting Sarah Moss's recent account of legal proof. Moss's account is attractive in a number of ways. It provides a new version of a knowledge-based theory of legal proof that elegantly resolves a number of puzzles about mere statistical evidence in the law. Moreover, the account promises to have attractive implications for social and moral philosophy, in particular about the impermissibility of racial profiling and other harmful kinds of statistical generalisation. In this paper, I show that Moss's account of legal proof crucially depends on a moral norm called the rule of consideration. I argue that we have a number of reasons to be sceptical of this rule. Once we reject the rule, it is not clear that Moss's account of legal proof is either plausible or attractive.
probabilistic knowledge, mere statistical evidence, legal proof, moral encroachment, Sarah Moss