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Coherence in the Process of Legal Proof

Borg, Callum (2014) Coherence in the Process of Legal Proof. Master of Law by Research (LLMRes) thesis, University of Kent,. (KAR id:47982)

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Abstract

The concept of coherence has long been thought to provide answers to a number of classical philosophical questions in metaphysics, epistemology and elsewhere. In recent decades, the promise of coherence has drawn the attention of many in legal theory, where coherence has since been employed for a number of different reasons. Among the many claims made for coherence in law and legal reasoning, some have argued that coherence plays a central role in the process of legal proof, justifying beliefs about unperceived past events. This claim constitutes the primary subject of this thesis. Focusing on the influential coherence-based theories of justification presented by Laurence BonJour, Neil MacCormick and Amalia Amaya, I argue that the use of coherence in the process of legal proof has been overestimated. Highlighting a number of conceptual and epistemological problems for coherence theories of justification, I suggest that coherence provides too weak a test to deliver justificatory force in the acceptance of beliefs about unperceived past events. In light of these findings, I tentatively propose a new, more limited role for coherence in the context of discovery and theory-formulation, where coherence may have a part to play in the process of legal proof after all.

Item Type: Thesis (Master of Law by Research (LLMRes))
Thesis advisor: Pethick, Stephen
Uncontrolled keywords: Coherence Coherentism Proof Evidence Epistemology Law BonJour MacCormick Amaya
Subjects: K Law
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > Kent Law School
Depositing User: Users 1 not found.
Date Deposited: 14 Apr 2015 15:00 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:24 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/47982 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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