Giovanni Tuzet

On lay testimony

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Hume; Locke; Principle of Credulity; Principle of Distrust; Reid.

Contemporary epistemology credits testimony with a high value as a source of knowledge, while psychology stresses the biases and errors of lay testimony. The paper addresses this paradoxical situation with respect to lay testimony in legal trials and concludes that a principle of distrust (as opposed to a principle of credulity) governs such evidence in such contexts (or at least in the Italian one as framed by the civil and criminal procedure codes). The reason for this kind of distrust can be found in the interests at stake in such non-ordinary contexts as trials.

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