Monday, May 11, 2015
Question about Waiver of Privilege Against SelfIcrimination
Sunday, May 10, 2015
Saturday, May 02, 2015
Canada: Admissibility Requirement: Independence and Impartiaility of Expert
Supreme Court of Canada holds that expert opinion is admissible only if the expert is 'independent" and "impartial." But this rule is hedged to accommodate certain "realities" of Canada's adversary system of litigation. See White Burgess Langille Inman v. Abbott and Haliburton Co.
Monday, April 27, 2015
Wigmore's Influence on Australian Evidence Law
E. & P. 2015, 19(1), 2951
International Journal of Evidence & Proof
2015
The influence of Professor J.H. Wigmore on evidence law in Australia
Nigel Wilson
© 2015 Vathek Publishing
Subject: Criminal evidence
Keywords: Australia; Children; Competence; Confessions; Legal systems; Propensity; Witnesses
*29 Abstract
Professor John Henry Wigmore (18631943) was an immensely significant international jurist. Much has been written about his accomplishments and scholarship and his influence on AngloAmerican jurisprudence. His influence on Australian law has also been extensive. It has been his influence upon Australian evidence law and scholarship where his impact has been felt most and where his legacy continues. This article analyses the influence of Wigmore on Australian evidence lawand scholarship over the last century. 2014 marks the 110th anniversary of Wigmore's remarkable Treatise on Evidence, which has had enormous impact on Australian evidence law jurisprudence and scholarship and immense significance in the common law world. Wigmore's enduring legacies in Australia are the preeminence and breadth of his scholarship and the clarity, consistency and considered nature of his analysis of evidential principles. It is anticipated that his influence will continue unabated in evidence cases of significance in Australian courts and in evidence law reform and remain a powerful guiding force on Australian evidence scholarship in the 21st century.
Keywords
Australia, courts, evidence, High Court of Australia, Professor J.H. Wigmore
Sunday, April 26, 2015
An Aristotelian Realist Philosophy of Mathematics
An Aristotelian Realist Philosophy of Mathematics
Mathematics as the Science of Quantity and Structure
ISBN  9781137400727 
Publication Date  April 2014 
Formats  Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher  Palgrave Macmillan 
An Aristotelian Philosophy of Mathematics breaks the impasse between Platonist and nominalist views of mathematics. Neither a study of abstract objects nor a mere language or logic, mathematics is a science of real aspects of the world as much as biology is. For the first time, a philosophy of mathematics puts applied mathematics at the centre. Quantitative aspects of the world such as ratios of heights, and structural ones such as symmetry and continuity, are parts of the physical world and are objects of mathematics. Though some mathematical structures such as infinities may be too big to be realized in fact, all of them are capable of being realized. Informed by the author's background in both philosophy and mathematics, but keeping to simple examples, the book shows how infant perception of patterns is extended by visualization and proof to the vast edifice of modern pure and applied mathematical knowledge.
AN ARISTOTELIAN REALIST PHILOSOPHY OF MATHEMATICS

Monday, April 13, 2015
Kant, Evidence, Bulgaria, and John G. Roberts, Jr.
Evidence marshaling software MarshalPlan
Thursday, March 26, 2015
Example of Retroductive Reasoning
NYTimes report:
" As officials struggled Wednesday to explain why a jet with 150 people on board crashed in relatively clear skies, an investigator said evidence from a cockpit voice recorder indicated one pilot left the cockpit before the plane’s descent and was unable to get back in.
A senior military official involved in the investigation described “very smooth, very cool” conversation between the pilots during the early part of the flight from Barcelona to Düsseldorf. Then the audio indicated that one of the pilots left the cockpit and could not reenter.
“The guy outside is knocking lightly on the door and there is no answer,” the investigator said. “And then he hits the door stronger and no answer. There is never an answer.”
He said, “You can hear he is trying to smash the door down.”
...
.......
QUESTION: What are some possible explanations; what is their relative (comparative) plausibility; and what further evidence would you seek to strengthen or weaken each possible explanation?
1. The pilot in the cockpit had had heart attack. (Alternative: He or she had a stroke. Etc.)
2. A terrorist (or flight attendant) forced the pilot in cabin to crash the plane. (Variants of this explanation.)
3. The pilot in the cabin decided to crash the plane. (Etc.)
4. Etc.
......
See generally
The Fabrication of Facts in Investigation and Adjudication
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=962241
Monday, March 16, 2015
Trial by Jury in China?
Jury System and China 
发布日期：20120224 21:34:16 
By Linchang Shen Ⅰ Introduction Ⅱ Decline vs. Reintroduction Ⅲ Is Jury System Totally an Imported Institution for China? Ⅳ Should China Adopt Some Kind of Jury System? Ⅴ Is AngloAmerican Jury System Suitable for China? Ⅵ How to Reform the Current People’s Assessor System? Ⅶ Conclusion ABSTRACT It is quite interesting that since the turn of 20th and 21st century the jury system has attracted enormous attention throughout the world. Unexceptionally, this institution has also aroused heated debates in China. The purpose of this dissertation is to study whether China should adopt some kind of jury system and which style of jury system is more suitable for China if one is adopted, and further to explore how to reform the current jury system in China. The dissertation first looks through the reintroduction of jury system in Russia, Spain and Japan, analyzes the underlying motives of the important judiciary reforms and extracts the implication for China. Afterwards, the article researches whether China should adopt a jury system and then explores the suitable style jury system for China. Finally, the article examines the current jury system in China, points out the defects, and then correspondingly puts forwards some suggestions for reform of the current jury system. 
Evidence marshaling software MarshalPlan
Saturday, January 03, 2015
Taking Inference Seriously
Taking Inference Seriously
I
am deeply honored to be here – to be virtually here – to receive
the Wigmore Lifetime Achievement Award.
There
is relatively little doubt that some of you associate my name with
the socalled (and now not so new) New Evidence Scholarship. The New
Evidence Scholarship began roughly in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Mathematics and statistics have played a prominent role in the New
Evidence Scholarship, and a good deal (though by no means all) of the
new scholarship whose study I have promoted over the years makes use
of mathematics and statistics. The
underlying reason for my interest was never just the idea that
mathematical tools can shed light on the nature of evidence and
inference. I have always had a broader
and fuzzier goal, the goal of advancing the study of evidential
inference by employing a wide variety of conceptual tools and
branches of human knowledge, including but not limited to
mathematics, formal logic, and matters of that sort.
In
my own work I have used mathematical tools only sparingly, and
generally I have used only very simple mathematics (primarily
arithmetic and simple algebra). When I have used mathematical tools,
I have used them, in the main, not to construct models of the world
but, rather, to explore the nature of argument
from and about evidence. Mathematics
is, among other things, a special grammar or language that can be
used to construct arguments.
When I have used mathematics in my work, I have used it primarily to
explore the nature of evidential argument.
It
is fortunate (or perhaps it was just inevitable) that evidential
argument has been the focus of my sporadic efforts to use mathematics
in my scholarship. The role of argument in inference has been my
focus because I strongly believe that human beings do not directly
perceive the world that they believe surrounds them; I have long
believed that human beings use their minds, brains, and senses to
construct the world, to form images of the world that they believe or
assume surrounds them. Give this, it should be apparent why I think
that argument – including
mathematical evidential argument – is subjective.
And given this, you can understand why I reject the notion that an
argument about evidence couched in mathematical language is an
algorithm, or a fixed formal recipe for the solution of an evidential
problem. Logically valid arguments can and do produce false
conclusions. (For example, a formally valid argument may rest on
false premises.) Finally,
it should now also be
apparent why I do not believe that an evidential argument couched in
mathematical language is necessarily a “model” of actual
evidential inference. The reason is the same as before: an argument
is an argument – whether mathematical language is used to make the
argument or not. For me, mathematics is a guide to the nature of
certain kinds of argument.
Although
I believe evidential argument and evidential inference are
necessarily subjective, I do not believe that inference from evidence
is or should be nothing more than an act of free creation or pure
invention. I am too much of an admirer of science and common sense to
believe any such thing. In most legal settings the aim of factual
inference is to produce factual conclusions that have a good chance
of being true, that have a good chance of approximating actual events
and states of affairs in the world. For this reason, if for no other,
it is fortunate that legal systems worthy of the name demand that
important factual conclusions must rest on at least some evidence: a
requirement of evidentiary support imposes at least some
veritistic (truthseeking) constraints on factfinding.
But although I concluded
that that evidence and argument are two essential ingredients of
reliable factual inference, I also reached the conclusion that these
two ingredients cannot by themselves explain how human inference in
legal settings actually works or how it should work. Although the
requirement of evidentiary support insures that some of the premises
of an argument about facts have a basis in evidence, a bare
requirement of evidentiary support allows the formation of distinct
valid inferential arguments that lead to a variety of factual
conclusions, including disparate factual conclusions. This
consideration, along with my experience as a litigator in law
practice and my experience more generally as a human being in the
world, led me to the conclusion that any adequate account of the
actual or proper working of factual inference must take intuition
into account.
But
to assign intuition a central role in factfinding in the legal
process is almost a showstopper. That's because “intuition”
seems to refer to beliefs, principles, propositions, and other such
matters, or matters that are not arrived at through conscious
deliberation but are simply given or implicit, that just happen to be
there in our minds, in our brains, or somewhere else in ourselves.
If this is what intuition is, and if factfinding in the legal
process is importantly driven by intuitions, it hardly seems possible
to regulate factfinding in a rational fashion. The notion of
rational intuitive inference appears to be an oxymoron! This is the
puzzle I have wrestled with most of my working life.
Although
I may strike you as an unduly obsessive fellow, allow me to say that
I believe and I hope I have made some progress in solving the puzzle
about the relationship between reason and intuition in inference. One
of my insights (which is not necessarily an original insight) is that
the answer to the question of the role of reason and intuition in
inference cannot be given in either/or form: the correct answer
cannot be that inference is always driven either by reason or
intuition but not by both. Reason and intuition both play a central
role in inference.
In
addition, the boundary between intuition and reason is not fixed, it
is not immutable. When I engage in introspection, I often conclude
that many of my intuitions are at least in part a product of my
earlier conscious ruminations (sometimes, to be sure, very
fragmentary and disordered ruminations, but conscious ruminations
nonetheless). If my experience is not atypical and if it is not a
product of delusion, perhaps it is possible to get decision makers
who are involved in the legal process to reflect on and sometimes
revise the intuitions with which they begin; evidence and argument
can be directed at such intuitions.
As
I struggled to work out the role of intuition in factfinding in the
legal process, it became apparent that such insights, even if valid,
do not guarantee that factfinding in the legal process will be
accurate. For even if some intuitions are penetrable by reason, human
beings seem to have some or many intuitions that are largely
impenetrable to introspection and deliberation; many of the
intuitions that play a role in fact finding probably lie entirely
beneath reach of conscious thought. So I was forced to confront the
following question: even if we recognize that both intuition and
reason play a role in factual inference and even if we acknowledge
that we can consciously evaluate some of our intuitions, are we
forced, in the end, to conclude that no matter how much we human
beings reflect and deliberate, our factual inferences are generally
not trustworthy because at least some of the premises of our
inferential processes are largely or entirely beyond the reach of
conscious thought – and, for that
reason, are therefore necessarily
untrustworthy?
As
I struggled with this question intermittently, for literally decades
– I consulted literature in fields such as neuroscience, artificial
intelligence, psychology, and cognitive science. I was trying to find
out whether there is much reason or logic involved in subconscious
inferential processes. And much of the literature I examined does
assert or assume that some sort of logic or logics control, regulate,
or structure subconscious inferential processes. To be sure, some of
the literature that I examined emphasizes the fallibility of
subconscious (and conscious) human judgment, inference, and
deliberation. Moreover, none of that literature asserts that human
judgment is infallible. But at least some of the literature asserts
that at least some subconscious human judgments about at least some
aspects of the world are not only produced by natural processes that
are governed by some sort or logics but are also, in the end,
miraculously enough!, fairly reliable.
But
after reaching these conclusions, I was left with a nagging question:
how does the recognition that (a) subconscious inference exists (and
is omnipresent in human inference) and (b) some sort of logic or
logics are involved, bear on the puzzle I posed earlier, that is,
does the unavoidable role of intuition in human inference necessarily
frustrate any effort to make the process of factual inference in the
legal process both rational and reliable? Eventually I arrived at two
conclusions that are pertinent this puzzle – but, as you will see,
they are not entirely reassuring conclusions.
First,
although there is ample reason to
believe that a logic or logics of some kind play a critical role in
subconscious inference, the nature of that logic or logics is not yet
well understood. If that is true, the notion that we might use some
sort of logicbased technology to improve subconscious human
inference in general is only a fantasy at this point in human
history.
Second,
even if we grant the general supposition that subconscious human
inference is "fairly reliable," we cannot extract from this
fuzzy general supposition A. exactly how reliable subconscious human
inference is, and B. the circumstances that render subconscious
human inference either more or less reliable. Given these two
desultory conclusions, does it follow that my extended exploration of
the literature in fields such as artificial intelligence and
cognitive science was pointless?
I
am inclined to think that the literature I examined offers rational
grounds for the hope that two important propositions about human
inference are true:
First,
as I have already said, that
many of our subconscious or
tacit inferences are "fairly reliable." Unlike some
students in the fields of "heuristics and biases" and
behavioral economics, I am impressed by how often human beings get
their inferences right rather than by how often they get their
inferences wrong. A belief in the reliability of much subconscious
inference counsels against too strong a general distrust of the
substrate of subconscious human inference.
Second,
as I noted earlier, even if one supposes (as I do) the existence and
omnipresence of subconscious inference in human inference, it does
not follow that all
subconscious human inference is entirely inaccessible to conscious
thought. Although the structure of some subconscious human
inferential processes is likely to remain entirely impenetrable to
conscious human thought, it is possible as I said earlier, and even
likely, that there are degrees of subconsciousness, and that careful
and persistent deliberation can bring to consciousness some thoughts
and feelings that initially lurk largely beneath conscious awareness,
that swim between consciousness and unconsciousness. If so, as I
noted earlier, it is possible that actors in the legal process can,
with effort, make themselves more conscious of, more attentive to,
more aware of some of the intuitions that seem to play a role in
their thinking about evidence – and it is possible (though not
inevitable) that by doing this such actors will improve the quality
of their inferences.
Of
course, even if I am right about all of this it remains true that a
vast number of subconscious inferential processes will remain largely
beyond the reach of conscious human deliberation and introspection,
and such subconscious inferential processes will remain, by
definition, impervious to conscious critical examination. But perhaps
this is a limitation that we must just accept; perhaps all that we
can ask of human actors is that they deliberate as carefully as they
can about their intuitions and, taking whatever advice they can from
other people and outside sources, decide as carefully as they can.
For the foreseeable future, factfinding in the legal process
necessarily involves human actors. It
is too much to ask human beings to do more than the best that they
can, but perhaps these insights can help us better understand what
constitutes the best that human beings can do.
Tuesday, December 02, 2014
Profiling and the hopeless yearning for "specific evidence"
If the DOJ's promised new antiprofiling guidelines rely to any significant extent on the notion of "specific evidence," the new guidelines will be a hopeless mishmash. Cf. Peter Tillers, If Wishes Were Horses: Discursive Comments on Attempts to Prevent Individuals from Being Unfairly Burdened by their Reference Classes, 4 Law, Probability and Risk 33 (Oxford University Press, 2005).
&&&
Evidence marshaling software MarshalPlan
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Is fuzzy logic passé?
 

*********************************************************************
Berkeley Initiative in Soft Computing (BISC)
*********************************************************************
Berkeley Initiative in Soft Computing (BISC)
******************************
Dear members of the BISC Group:
For your information, following is an updated version of a brief report on the impact of fuzzy logic. Comments are welcome.
Regards,
Lotfi
Factual Information about the Impact of Fuzzy Logic
L.A. ZADEH
COUNT of PUBLICATIONS
• Total number of papers with “fuzzy” in title (Google Scholar): 360,000
• Count of publications containing the word “fuzzy” in title, as cited in INSPEC and MATH.SCI.NET databases.
Compiled on September 11, 2014.
INSPEC Database
19701979: 569
19801989: 2,375
19901999: 21,572
20002009: 44,695
2010present: 31,826
Total: 101,037
MathSciNet Database
19701979: 446
19801989: 2,474
19901999: 5,526
20002009: 10,295
2010present: 7,131
Total: 25,872
Count of citations
• Number of citations/results of papers by L. Zadeh (Google Scholar): 138,270
• Number of citations of L. Zadeh’s paper “Fuzzy sets,” Information and Control, 1965 (Google Scholar): 52,484
• Number of members of the BISC Group (subscribers on BISC mailing list)
worldwide: 990
PATENTS
• Number of fuzzylogicrelated patents issued: 560,000
JOURNALS
Fuzzy in title
1. Fuzzy Sets and Systems
2. IEEE Transactions on Fuzzy Systems
3. International Journal of Fuzzy Logic and Intelligent Systems
4. Fuzzy Optimization and Decision Making
5. Journal of Intelligent & Fuzzy Systems
6. Fuzzy Economic Review
7. International Journal of Uncertainty, Fuzziness and KnowledgeBased Systems
8. Journal of Japan Society for Fuzzy Theory and Systems
9. International Journal of Fuzzy Systems
10. International Review of Fuzzy Mathematics
11. Fuzzy Systems and Soft Computing
12. Turkish Journal of Fuzzy Systems
13. Annals of Fuzzy Sets, Fuzzy Logic and Fuzzy Systems
14. Iranian Journal of Fuzzy Systems
15. Fuzzy Information and Engineering
16. Advances in Fuzzy Systems
17. International Journal of Fuzzy System Applications
18. Advances in Fuzzy Sets and Systems
19. International Journal of Fuzzy Systems and Rough Systems
20. International Journal of Fuzzy Logic Systems
21. Journal of Biomedical Fuzzy Systems Association
22. Advances in Fuzzy Mathematics
23. Journal of Fuzzy Mathematics
24. Journal of Advanced Research in Fuzzy and Uncertain
25. Fuzzy Systems & AI—Reports & Letters
26. Neural and Fuzzy Modeling Technology in Economics
27. International Journal of Fuzzy Systems and Advanced Applications
28. International Journal of Fuzzy Computation and Modelling
29. International Journal of Fuzzy Information and Engineering
Soft Computing in title (soft computing=fuzzy logic, neurocomputing and evolutionary computing)
1. Soft Computing
2. Applied Soft Computing
3. Mathware & Soft Computing
4. Journal of MultipleValued Logic and Soft Computing
5. Applied Computational Intelligence and Soft Computing
6. Autosoft Journal. Intelligent Automation & Soft Computing
7. International Journal of Advances in Soft Computing and Its Applications
8. International Journal of Artificial Intelligence and Soft Computing
9. International Journal of Soft Computing Applications
10. International Journal on Soft Computing
11. International Journal of Soft Computing
12. International Journal of Mathematics and Soft Computing
13. International Journal of Soft Computing Simulation and Software Engineering
14. International Journal of Soft Computing and Bioinformatics
15. Journal of Artificial Intelligence and Soft Computing Research
16. International Journal of Soft Computing and Engineering
17. Fuzzy Systems and Soft Computing
18. International Journal of Research and Reviews in Soft and Intelligent Computing
19. International Journal of Factory Automation, Robotics and Soft Computing
20. International Journal of Biomedical Soft Computing and Human Sciences
21. Archives for the Philosophy and History of Soft Computing
Impact on pure mathematics
• Total number of papers with “fuzzy topology” or “fuzzy topological spaces” in title (Google Scholar): 1417
• Total number of books with "fuzzy topology" or "fuzzy topological spaces" in title (Google Books): 148
For your information, following is an updated version of a brief report on the impact of fuzzy logic. Comments are welcome.
Regards,
Lotfi
Factual Information about the Impact of Fuzzy Logic
L.A. ZADEH
COUNT of PUBLICATIONS
• Total number of papers with “fuzzy” in title (Google Scholar): 360,000
• Count of publications containing the word “fuzzy” in title, as cited in INSPEC and MATH.SCI.NET databases.
Compiled on September 11, 2014.
INSPEC Database
19701979: 569
19801989: 2,375
19901999: 21,572
20002009: 44,695
2010present: 31,826
Total: 101,037
MathSciNet Database
19701979: 446
19801989: 2,474
19901999: 5,526
20002009: 10,295
2010present: 7,131
Total: 25,872
Count of citations
• Number of citations/results of papers by L. Zadeh (Google Scholar): 138,270
• Number of citations of L. Zadeh’s paper “Fuzzy sets,” Information and Control, 1965 (Google Scholar): 52,484
• Number of members of the BISC Group (subscribers on BISC mailing list)
worldwide: 990
PATENTS
• Number of fuzzylogicrelated patents issued: 560,000
JOURNALS
Fuzzy in title
1. Fuzzy Sets and Systems
2. IEEE Transactions on Fuzzy Systems
3. International Journal of Fuzzy Logic and Intelligent Systems
4. Fuzzy Optimization and Decision Making
5. Journal of Intelligent & Fuzzy Systems
6. Fuzzy Economic Review
7. International Journal of Uncertainty, Fuzziness and KnowledgeBased Systems
8. Journal of Japan Society for Fuzzy Theory and Systems
9. International Journal of Fuzzy Systems
10. International Review of Fuzzy Mathematics
11. Fuzzy Systems and Soft Computing
12. Turkish Journal of Fuzzy Systems
13. Annals of Fuzzy Sets, Fuzzy Logic and Fuzzy Systems
14. Iranian Journal of Fuzzy Systems
15. Fuzzy Information and Engineering
16. Advances in Fuzzy Systems
17. International Journal of Fuzzy System Applications
18. Advances in Fuzzy Sets and Systems
19. International Journal of Fuzzy Systems and Rough Systems
20. International Journal of Fuzzy Logic Systems
21. Journal of Biomedical Fuzzy Systems Association
22. Advances in Fuzzy Mathematics
23. Journal of Fuzzy Mathematics
24. Journal of Advanced Research in Fuzzy and Uncertain
25. Fuzzy Systems & AI—Reports & Letters
26. Neural and Fuzzy Modeling Technology in Economics
27. International Journal of Fuzzy Systems and Advanced Applications
28. International Journal of Fuzzy Computation and Modelling
29. International Journal of Fuzzy Information and Engineering
Soft Computing in title (soft computing=fuzzy logic, neurocomputing and evolutionary computing)
1. Soft Computing
2. Applied Soft Computing
3. Mathware & Soft Computing
4. Journal of MultipleValued Logic and Soft Computing
5. Applied Computational Intelligence and Soft Computing
6. Autosoft Journal. Intelligent Automation & Soft Computing
7. International Journal of Advances in Soft Computing and Its Applications
8. International Journal of Artificial Intelligence and Soft Computing
9. International Journal of Soft Computing Applications
10. International Journal on Soft Computing
11. International Journal of Soft Computing
12. International Journal of Mathematics and Soft Computing
13. International Journal of Soft Computing Simulation and Software Engineering
14. International Journal of Soft Computing and Bioinformatics
15. Journal of Artificial Intelligence and Soft Computing Research
16. International Journal of Soft Computing and Engineering
17. Fuzzy Systems and Soft Computing
18. International Journal of Research and Reviews in Soft and Intelligent Computing
19. International Journal of Factory Automation, Robotics and Soft Computing
20. International Journal of Biomedical Soft Computing and Human Sciences
21. Archives for the Philosophy and History of Soft Computing
Impact on pure mathematics
• Total number of papers with “fuzzy topology” or “fuzzy topological spaces” in title (Google Scholar): 1417
• Total number of books with "fuzzy topology" or "fuzzy topological spaces" in title (Google Books): 148

Lotfi A. Zadeh
Professor Emeritus
Director, Berkeley Initiative in Soft Computing (BISC)
Address:
729 Soda Hall #1776
Computer Science Division
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences
University of California
Berkeley, CA 947201776
zadeh@eecs.berkeley.edu
Tel.(home): (510) 5262569
URL: http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~zadeh/
Lotfi A. Zadeh
Professor Emeritus
Director, Berkeley Initiative in Soft Computing (BISC)
Address:
729 Soda Hall #1776
Computer Science Division
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences
University of California
Berkeley, CA 947201776
zadeh@eecs.berkeley.edu
Tel.(home): (510) 5262569
URL: http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~
Wednesday, November 05, 2014
National Academies Press: Eyewitness Identification
Evidence marshaling software MarshalPlan
Friday, September 19, 2014
Wigmore Lifetime Achievement Award
Peter Tillers will be the recipient of the Wigmore Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s (Jan. 2015) AALS meeting; the presentation will be made during our section’s joint luncheon with the Criminal Justice section. Thanks to all of you who nominated candidates, and thanks to the officers and executive committee members of the evidence section for discussing the nominations and voting.
David S. Caudill (Chair, AALS Section on Evidence)
Professor and Goldberg Family Chair in Law
Villanova University School of Law
Thursday, September 18, 2014
Precise reasoning about reasoning with fuzzy words
Comment by Tillers: legal scholars might avoid uttering a great deal of nonsense about imprecise legal concepts if they took the trouble to study fuzzy logic.
Lotfi A. Zadeh:
Berkeley Initiative in Soft Computing (BISC)
******************************
Dear members of the BISC Group:
The concept of FLgeneralization was introduced in my 2008 paper "Is there a need for fuzzy logic?" Information Sciences. The basic importance of FLgeneralization has not been fully recognized as yet. For those who are not familiar with FLgeneralization, a brief explanation is provided in the following.
In large measure, science  including mathematics  is based on the classical, Aristotelian, bivalent logic. Bivalentlogicbased science has achieved brilliant successes. But what is striking is that bivalentlogicbased science ignores a basic reality. In human cognition, almost all classes have unsharp (fuzzy) boundaries. Bivalent logic is not the right logic for dealing with such classes, nor is bivalentlogicbased probability theory. What is needed for this purpose is fuzzy set theory and, more broadly, fuzzy logic, FL. Informally, fuzzy logic is a system of reasoning and computation in which the objects of reasoning and computation are classes with unsharp (fuzzy) boundaries.
The point of departure in fuzzy set theory is a generalization of the concept of a set to the concept of a fuzzy set. A fuzzy set, A, in a space, U, is a graduated class of elements of U. Graduation involves association of each element, u, of U with its grade of membership in A. This very simple generalization has wideranging ramifications.
Let T be a bivalentlogicbased theory, formalism, algorithm, concept, etc. T is FLgeneralized by adding to T the concept of a fuzzy set along with associated concepts and techniques. The result of FLgeneralization is fuzzy T.Examples. Fuzzy arithmetic, fuzzy linear programming, fuzzy control, fuzzy stability, fuzzy support vector machine, fuzzy group theory, fuzzy topology, fuzzy convex set, fuzzy backpropagation algorithm, fuzzy probability, etc. T may be viewed as a special case of fuzzy T. FLgeneralization is a matter of degree, reflecting the extent to which sets in T are replaced by fuzzy sets. In the limit, FLgeneralization of T involves a shift in the foundations of T from bivalent logic to fuzzy logic.
What is gained by FLgeneralization? There are two principal rationales. First, FLgeneralization opens the door to construction of better models of reality. There is a fundamental conflict between two realities. In the world of human cognition, almost all concepts are classes with unsharp (fuzzy) boundaries, that is, are a matter of degree. In the world of science, almost all definitions are bivalent, with no degrees allowed. Here are a few examples. In economics, the official definition of recession is bivalent. Specifically, economy is in a state of recession if the GDP declined in two successive quarters. Realistically, recession is not a bivalent concept  it is a matter of degree. In probability theory, stationarity is defined as a bivalent concept. Realistically, stationarity is a matter of degree. In stability theory, stability is defined as a bivalent concept. Realistically, stability is a matter of degree, and so on, and on and on. FLgeneralization of definitions, serves an important purposereplacement of bivalent definitions with fuzzylogicbased definitions which are better models of reality.
The second rationale has a position of centrality in applications of fuzzy logic. Specifically, the second rationale involves an exploitation of tolerance for imprecision through replacement of numbers with precisiated words. A word is precisiated by representing it as a label of a fuzzy set which has a specified membership function. A striking example of exploitation of a tolerance for imprecision is the problem of stabilization of an inverted pendulum. The traditional approach starts with formulation of differential equations of motion, followed by application of stability theory. In the fuzzylogicbased approach, a small number of very simple fuzzy ifthen rules, with precisiated words in the antecedents and consequents, are employed to describe the dynamics of the inverted pendulum. This is the essence of what is called the Fuzzy Logic Gambit. Fuzzy Logic Gambit is an essential ingredient of the formalism of Computing with Words (CWW). Basically, CWW may be viewed as a progression from the use of numbers to the use of precisiated words.
In summary, FLgeneralization may be viewed as an important instrument of generalization in which the point of departure is replacement of the concept of a set with the concept of a fuzzy set. In large measure, scientific progress is driven by a quest for better models of reality. What I see in my crystal ball is the following. In coming years, more and more theories, formalisms, algorithms and concepts will be FLgeneralized. This is likely to be the case even in mathematicsa discipline in which the word "fuzzy" strikes a dissonant note. What should be recognized is that shifting foundations of a theory from bivalent logic to fuzzy logic need not involve a loss of rigor and precision. Example. Fuzzy topology is every bit as rigorous and precise as classical topology. Comments are welcome.
Regards,
Lotfi

Lotfi A. Zadeh
Professor Emeritus
Director, Berkeley Initiative in Soft Computing (BISC)
Lotfi A. Zadeh
Professor Emeritus
Director, Berkeley Initiative in Soft Computing (BISC)
Evidence marshaling software MarshalPlan
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
The Trouble With Harvard
Steven Pinker The Trouble With Harvard New Republic (September 4, 2014)
Extract:
Deresiewicz writes engagingly about the wacky ways of elite university admissions, and he deserves credit for opening a debate on policies which have been shrouded in Victorian daintiness and bureaucratic obfuscation. Unfortunately, his article is a poor foundation for diagnosing and treating the illness. Long on dogmatic assertion and short on objective analysis, the article is driven by a literarism which exalts bohemian authenticity over worldly success and analytical brainpower. And his grapeshot inflicts a lot of collateral damage while sparing the biggest pachyderms in the parlor.
…
But the biggest problem is that the advice in Deresiewicz’s title is perversely wrongheaded. If your kid has survived the application ordeal and has been offered a place at an elite university, don’t punish her for the irrationalities of a system she did nothing to create; by all means send her there! The economist Caroline Hoxby has shown that selective universities spendtwenty times more on student instruction, support, and facilities than less selective ones, while their students pay for a much smaller fraction of it, thanks to gifts to the college. Because of these advantages, it’s the selective institutions that are the real bargains in the university marketplace. Holding qualifications constant, graduates of a selective university are more likely to graduate on time, will tend to find a more desirable spouse, and will earn 20 percent more than those of less selective universities—every year for the rest of their working lives. These advantages swamp any differences in tuition and other expenses, which in any case are often lower than those of less selective schools because of more generous needbased financial aid. The Ivy admissions sweepstakes may be irrational, but the parents and teenagers who clamber to win it are not.
…
Likei many observers of American universities, I used to believe the following story. Once upon a time Harvard was a finishing school for the plutocracy, where preppies and Kennedy scions earned gentleman’s Cs while playing football, singing in choral groups, and malebonding at final clubs, while the blackballed Jews at CCNY founded leftwing magazines and slogged away in labs that prepared them for their Nobel prizes in science. Then came Sputnik, the '60s, and the decline of genteel racism and antiSemitism, and Harvard had to retool itself as a meritocracy, whose bestandbrightest gifts to America would include recombinant DNA, Wall Street quants, The Simpsons, Facebook, and the masthead of The New Republic.
This story has a grain of truth in it: Hoxby has documented that the academic standards for admission to elite universities have risen over the decades. But entrenched cultures die hard, and the ghost of Oliver Barrett IV still haunts every segment of the Harvard pipeline.
At the admissions end, it’s common knowledge that Harvard selects at most10 percent (some say 5 percent) of its students on the basis of academic merit. At an orientation session for new faculty, we were told that Harvard “wants to train the future leaders of the world, not the future academics of the world,” and that “We want to read about our student in Newsweek 20 years hence” (prompting the woman next to me to mutter, “Like the Unabomer”). The rest are selected “holistically,” based also on participation in athletics, the arts, charity, activism, travel, and, we inferred (Not in front of the children!), race, donations, and legacy status (since anything can be hidden behind the holistic fig leaf).
Evidence marshaling software MarshalPlan
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