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Law and Psychology

Bias

2011

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Legal Reasoning And Scientific Reasoning, Phoebe C. Ellsworth Jan 2011

Legal Reasoning And Scientific Reasoning, Phoebe C. Ellsworth

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In my presentation for the 2010 Meador Lectures on Rationality, I chose to compare legal reasoning and scientific reasoning. Both law and science pride themselves on the rationality of their intellectual methods and believe that those methods are designed to analyze questions and reach the correct conclusions by means of reason, free from cognitive or emotional biases. Of course, both law and science often fall short of this ideal at all levels, from the decisions about individual legal cases or scientific studies to the acceptance of general theories. In many ways, the biases that mislead legal and scientific thinkers are ...