Naturalized Epistemology and the Law of Evidence

A Reply to Pardo, Spellman, Muffato, and Enoch


  • Ronald Allen Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law



In «Naturalized Epistemology and the Law of Evidence Revisited», the original target article for the various refutations that I comment on here, I revisited through a slightly different lens the subject of the article that I coauthored with Brian Leiter close to twenty years ago. That article has prompted four responses from Professors Pardo, Spellman, Muffato, and Enoch. Professors Pardo and Spellman basically accept the implications of the original article and offer useful but friendly amendments. Prof. Muffato apparently does not want to dispute over my ground and so changes the subject, and in doing so offers a number of interesting points. Only the fourth, Prof. Enoch, has the same doubts about the utility of my original article as I do of the genre that gave rise to it. I can thus be quite brief in discussing professors Pardo, Spellman, and Muffato, but it will take bit more effort to lay out the limits of Prof. Enoch’s analysis.

Palabras clave

probability, relative plausibility, epistemology, safety, sensitivity


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Enoch, D., Spectre, L. and Fisher, L. (2012). Statistical evidence, sensitivity, and the legal value of knowledge. Philosophy & Public Affairs, 40(3), p. 197-224.

Enoch, D. and Fisher, T. (2015). Sense and sensitivity: Epistemic and instrumental approaches to statistical evidence. Stanford Law Review, 67(3), p. 557-611.

Pardo, M. S. (2018). Safety vs. sensitivity: possible worlds and the law of evidence. Legal Theory, 24(1), p. 50–75.

Pardo, M. S. (2019). The paradoxes of legal proof: A Critical Guide. Boston University Law Review, 99(1), p. 233-290.

Quine, W.V.O. (1951). Two dogmas of empiricism. The Philosophical Review, 60(1), p. 20-43.

Biografía del autor/a

Ronald Allen, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law

John Henry Wigmore Professor, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, President, International Association of Evidence Science; Fellow, The Forensic Science Institute, China University of Political Science and Law. I am indebted to William Lawrence for excellent research assistance and to the Julius Rosenthal Foundation Fund for supporting this research




Cómo citar

Allen, R. (2021). Naturalized Epistemology and the Law of Evidence: A Reply to Pardo, Spellman, Muffato, and Enoch. Quaestio Facti. Revista Internacional Sobre Razonamiento Probatorio, (3), 253–272.