Witness Testimony Evidence: Argumentation and the Law

Witness Testimony Evidence: Argumentation and the Law

by Douglas Walton
Pub. Date:
Cambridge University Press


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Witness Testimony Evidence: Argumentation and the Law

Recent work in artificial intelligence has increasingly turned to argumentation as a rich, interdisciplinary area of research that can provide new methods related to evidence and reasoning in the area of law. Douglas Walton provides an introduction to basic concepts, tools and methods in argumentation theory and artificial intelligence as applied to the analysis and evaluation of witness testimony. He shows how witness testimony is by its nature inherently fallible and sometimes subject to disastrous failures. At the same time such testimony can provide evidence that is not only necessary but inherently reasonable for logically guiding legal experts to accept or reject a claim. Walton shows how to overcome the traditional disdain for witness testimony as a type of evidence shown by logical positivists, and the views of trial sceptics who doubt that trial rules deal with witness testimony in a way that yields a rational decision-making process.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521881432
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 11/30/2007
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.87(d)

About the Author

Douglas Walton is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Winnipeg. An internationally recognised scholar of argumentation theory and logic, he is the author of many books, most recently Argumentation Methods for Artificial Intelligence in Law and Fundamentals of Critical Argumentation. Dr. Walton's research has been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Isaak Walton Killum Memorial Foundation.

Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. Witness testimony as argumentation; 2. Plausible reasoning in legal argumentation; 3. Scripts, stories, and anchored narratives; 4. Computational dialectics; 5. Witness examination as peirastic dialogue; 6. A dialectical model of the fair trial; 7. Supporting and attacking witness testimony.

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