Friday, April 23, 2010

Progress(?) in Developing New Course in Scientific & Expert Evidence

Having received a flood of responses :-) to my plea for suggestions about the design of my fall semester course in scientific evidence, I am happy to report I have made some progress -- I think I have made some progress -- in designing the course.

My course is a seminar (I think, but I await word from the administration). My course will cover some of the usual topics -- such as fingerprint evidence, mechanical lie detectors, syndrome evidence, and the like. But my course will not focus on the "technical" aspects of these topics (though it won't ignore them). I will focus on the basic epistemological issues raised by the use of hard science, soft science, and nonscientific expert evidence. (These questions cannot be avoided.)

I have told my students they must pick and discuss two major pieces of literature with different views on some topic. I am suggesting they pick asterisked literature from the following list:

*Ellen Bass & Laura Davis, The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse (1988); Ellen Bass & Laura Davis, The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse (4th ed., 2008); Wikipedia Article

*Erica Beecher-Monas, Evaluating Scientific Evidence: An Interdisciplinary Framework for Intellectual Due Process (Cambridge 2007)

*Scott Brewer, "Exemplary Reasoning: Semantics, Pragmatics, and the Rational Force of Legal Argument By Analogy," 109 Harv. L. Rev. 923-1028 (1996)

*Scott Brewer, "Scientific Expert Testimony and Intellectual Due Process, 107 Yale L.J. 1535

*Nancy Cartwright, The Dappled World: A Study of the Boundaries of Science (Cambridge 1999, reprinted 2001 & 2003)

*Susan A. Clancy, The Trauma Myth (Basic Books 2009)

*Martin A. Conway, Recovered Memories and False Memories (Oxford 1997)

*Deidre Dwyer, The Judicial Assessment of Expert Evidence (Cambridge 2008)

*Gerald Edelman, Second Nature: Brain Science amd Human Knowledge (Yale 2006)

*David L. Faigman, Legal Alchemy: The Use and Misuse of Science in the Law (W.H. Freeman & Co. 2009, 2000)

*David L. Faigman, "The Battered Woman Syndrome and Self-Defense: A Legal and Empirical Dissent," 72 Virginia Law Review 619 (1986); David L. Faigman & Amy J. Wright, "The Battered Woman Syndrome in the Age of Science," 39 Arizona Law Review 67 (1997)

*Paul Feyerabend, Against Method (3d edn. 1993)

*James Franklin, What Science Knows and How It Knows It (Encounter Books 2009)

*Michael Friedman, Dynamics of Reason (CSLI 2001)

*Timothy van Gelder, What Is Argument Mapping? (Feb. 17, 2009)

*Alvin I. Goldman, Knowledge in a Social World (Oxford 1999)

*Goodman, Fact, Fiction, and Forecast

*Susan Haack, Defending Science -- within Reason: Bteween Scientism and Cynicism (Prometheus 2003)

*Susan Haack, Deviant Logic, Fuzzy Logic: Beyond the Formalism (Chicago 1974, 1996)

*Ian Hacking, Logic of Statistical Inference (Cambridge 1965, reprinted numerous times)

*Ian Hacking, Representing and Intervening (Cambridge 1983)

*Ian Hacking, Rewriting the Soul: Multiple Personality and the Sciences of Memory (Princeton 1995)

*Ian Hacking, The Social Construction of What? (Harvard 1999)

*Alan Hájek, The reference class problem is your problem too 156 Synthese 563 (2007)

Hanson, Is There Logic of Scientific Discovery? 38 The Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (1960)

Hanson, Patterns of Discovery: An Inquiry Into the Conceptual Foundations of Science (Cambridge 1958)

*Peter W. Huber, Galileo's Revenge: Junk Science in the Courtroom (1991 & BasicBooks 1993)

*E.T. Jaynes, Probability Theory: The Logic of Science (Cambridge 2003) (only for people with considerable proficiency in mathematics and probability theory)

Philip Jenkins, Pedophiles and Priests: Anatomy of a Contemporary Crisis (Oxford 1996)

E.D. Klemke, Robert Hollinger & David Rudge with A, David Kline, Introductory Readings in the Philosophy of Science (Prometheus 3d ed., 1998)

Arthur Koestler, The Act of Creation (1964, reprinted 1989)

*Bart Kosko, Fuzzy Thinking: The New Science of Fuzzy Logic (1993)

*Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Chicago, 2nd ed. 1969; 3rd ed. 1996)

Imre Lakatos, Proofs and Refutations: The Logic of Mathematical Discovery (Cambridge 1976)

*John Langbein, "The German Advantage in Civil Procedure," .....; Ronald J. Allen, ...

*Elizabeth Loftus & Katherine Ketcham, The Myth of Repressed Memory: False Memories and Allegations of Sexual Abuse (1994, paperback 1996)

*Lorenzo Mangnani, Abduction, Reason, and Science: Processes of Discovery and Explanation (Kluwer 2001)

Grover Maxwell & Robert M. Anderson, Jr., eds., Induction, Probability and Confirmation (University of Minnesota 1975) (vol. VI Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science)

*John Monahan, Laurens Walker & Gregory Mitchell, "Contextual Evidence of Gender Discrimination: The Ascendance of 'Social Frameworks,'" 94 Virginia Law Review 1715 (2008)

*Robert P. Mosteller, "Syndromes and Politics in Criminal Trials and Evidence Law," 46 Duke Law Journal 461 (1996)

*Matteo Motterlini, ed., For and Against Method: Imre Lakatos and Paul Feyerabend (Chicago 1999)

*National Academies of Sciences, Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward (National Academies Press 2009) (online & free)

*Sidney Perkowitz, Empire of Light: A History of Discovery in Science and Art Chapter 2 (Joseph Henry Press 1996) ("Seeing Light")

*August Piper, Linda Lillevik & Roxanne Kritzer, What's Wrong with Believing in Repression?: A Review for Legal Professionals, 14 Psychology, Public Policy & Law 223 (2008)

*Michael Polanyi, Personal Knowledge: Towards a Post-Critical Philosophy (Chicago 1958, 1962)

*Karl R. Popper, Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge (Routledge & Kegan 1963, 1965, 1969; reprinted 1974, 1976, 1978, 1984. and 1985; 1989, reprinted 1991 & 1992)

*Karl R. Popper, The Logic of Scientific Discovery (Routledge 1959, 1968, 1972, 1980)

*Karl R. Popper, Realism and the Aim of Science (Routledge 1983, paperback 1985; reprinted 1992 & 1994)

*Dorothy Rabinowitz, No Crueler Tyrannies: Accusation, False Witness, and Other Terrors of Our Times (Wall Street Journal Book, Free Press 2003)

*Mike Redmayne, Expert Evidence and Criminal Justice (Oxford 2001)

*Daniel L. Schachter, The Seven Sins of Memory: How the Mind Forgets and Remembers (Houghton Mifflin 2001)

Tom Siegfried, Odds Are, It's Wrong: Science fails to face the shortcomings of statistics Science News (March 27, 2010)

*Alan Sokal & Jean Bricmont, Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals' Abuse of Science (Picador 1998)

*David Stove, Scientific Irrationalism: Origins of a Postmodern Cult (Transaction Publishers 2001, paperback 2007)

*D.C. Stove, The Rationality of Induction (1986)

*Peter Tillers, Picturing Infference (2004 & 2005)

Mark Twain, The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson and the Comedy of Those Extraordinary Twins (1894) (available in numerous reprints)

*United States v. Shonubi, 802 F. Supp. 859 (E.D.N.Y., 1992) (Weinstein, J.) ("Shonubi I"); United States v. Shonubi, 998 F.2d 84 (2d Cir, 1993) (Oakes, Newman & Cardamone, JJ.) ("Shonubi II"); Joint Report (Testimony) of Schum & Tillers (Dec. 21, 1994) in United States v. Shonubi; United States v. Shonubi, 895 F.Supp. 460 (E.D.N.Y.) ("Shonubi III") (Weinstein, J.); United States v. Shonubi ("Shonubi IV"); United States v. Shonubi, 962 F. Supp. 370, 375 (E.D.N.Y. 1997) ("Shonubi V"(!)); Peter Tillers, "Introduction: Three Contributions to Three Important Problems in Evidence Scholarship," 18 Cardozo Law Review 1875 (1997) (draft of pertinent part of article available here); Mark Colyvan, Helen M. Regan & Scott Ferson, "Is It a Crime to Belong to a Reference Class?," in Henry E. Kyburg, Jr. & Maraiam Thalos, eds., Probability Is the Very Guide of Life 331 (2003); 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 (2005).

*Timothy Williamson, Vagueness (Routledge 1994)

Cf. Edward Levi, Introduction to Legal Reasoning (Chicago 1949 & revised 1962); H.L.A. Hart, The Concept of Law (1961, 2d ed. 1997)

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The dynamic evidence page

It's here: the law of evidence on Spindle Law. See also this post and this post.

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