Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2011

Abstract

In my presentation for the 2010 Meador Lectures on Rationality, I chose to compare legal reasoning and scientific reasoning. Both law and science pride themselves on the rationality of their intellectual methods and believe that those methods are designed to analyze questions and reach the correct conclusions by means of reason, free from cognitive or emotional biases. Of course, both law and science often fall short of this ideal at all levels, from the decisions about individual legal cases or scientific studies to the acceptance of general theories. In many ways, the biases that mislead legal and scientific thinkers are similar. But in other ways they are not. Training to think like a lawyer is not quite like training to think like a scientist, and, more important, the circumstances and constraints faced by lawyers and scientists when they undertake the task of solving a problem are quite different.


Share

COinS