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Provisional Concepts and Definitions of Fact

Geoffrey Marshall
Law and Philosophy
Vol. 18, No. 5, Laws, Facts, and Values (Sep., 1999), pp. 447-460
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3505139
Page Count: 14
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Provisional Concepts and Definitions of Fact
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Abstract

The paper explains and differentiates the concept of 'fact' in the legal setting. Fact and evidence, fact/falsity distinguished; fact and law considered -- a real difference or a pragmatic device? Questions of fact and degree considered, in themselves and in the context of jury trial and of appeals. Primary fact, factual inferences from primary fact, questions of classification of fact are considered. Whether inference is supported by evidence, and whether classification is correct may be questions of law. Issues of fact and opinion, fact and comment, relative to freedom of speech, defamation etc: no clear distinction available. Legal problems concerning absence of workable distinctions.

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