Coherence and probability in legal evidence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The authors investigate to what extent an evaluation of legal evidence in terms of coherence (suggested by Thagard, Amaya, Van Koppen and others) is reconcilable with a probabilistic (Bayesian) approach to legal evidence. The article is written by one author (Dahlman) with a background in the bayesian approach to legal evidence, and one author (Mackor) with a background in scenario theory. The authors find common ground but partly diverge in their conclusions. Their findings give support to the claim (reductionism) that coherence can be translated into probability without loss. Dahlman therefore concludes that the probabilistic vocabulary is superior to the coherence vocabulary, since it is more precise. Mackor is more agnostic in her conclusions about reductionism. In Mackor's view, the findings of their joint investigation do not imply that the probabilistic approach is superior to the coherentist approach.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Law


  • Procedural law
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-294
JournalLaw, Probability and Risk
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch

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