Saturday, July 07, 2007

Musings about How One Is To Address the Question, "What Is [Judicial or Juridical] Proof?"

Proof in legal settings such as litigation is a social process or phenomenon.

A social phenomenon has numerous ingredients.

Proof in litigation has numerous ingredients.

Some or many of those numerous ingredients probably have causative force; i.e., some or many of the ingredients or parts of proof influence how proof works.

Some of those causative ingredients have or may have a logic or a conceptual structure.

But, if so, such logics or conceptual forms are sometimes, often, or always fuzzy or rough.

Moreover, the interactions among those frequently-fuzzy logics or forms are themselves sometimes, often, or always fuzzy or rough.

An observer can try to describe the fuzzy or rough logics or conceptual forms that seem to drive or may drive (to some extent) the process of proof in litigation.

An observer can perhaps also try to describe how those fuzzy or rough logics or conceptual forms interact -- or, if you prefer, collide.

There are possible corollaries of the propositions or hypotheses that have been stated or hinted at above. There are also many questions. Perhaps I will deal with such corollaries and questions later. What you see above is very, very abstract. It is also very imprecise in an invidious sense -- i.e., it is a very imprecise, rough, and vague account of an imprecise process. But I am neither a logician nor a mathematician, and I have to start somewhere. I will try to start with simple description (of the ingredients of proof in the United States), if that is possible. Perhaps then my description can be made more systematic -- by other people if not by me. (But whether systematic description of the parts of proof and their interaction is possible remains to be seen.)

I fear that my project is too ambitious.

Stay tuned for further developments.

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