What Does It Mean to be "Plausible"?


  • Christian Dahlman Lund University


This article explores what ‘plausible’ means in statements about legal evidence and shows that it is highly ambiguous. Twelve different meanings of ‘plausibility’ are identified and distinguished from each other by definitions. Contrary to what has been claimed by some evidence scholars (Allen and Pardo, 2019), the article shows that all uses of ‘plausibility’ can be captured in terms of probability. The author also shows that the exposed ambiguity is deeply problematic for legal practice and legal scholarship. The fundamental principle of justice that ‘like cases should be treated alike’ is endangered when the standard of proof is expressed in an ambiguous way, and the scientific testability of hypotheses about legal fact-finding is undermined when these hypotheses are formulated in ambiguous terms.

Palabras clave

plausibility, probability, Evidence, Ambiguity


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Cómo citar

Dahlman, C. (2024). What Does It Mean to be "Plausible"?. Quaestio Facti. Revista Internacional Sobre Razonamiento Probatorio, (7), 91–102. https://doi.org/10.33115/udg_bib/qf.i7.23030