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Truth in Adjudication, 49 Hastings Law Journal 289 (1998)


As the century limps to a close, the gap seems to be widening between the views on truth prevailing in a variety of theoretical disciplines and the understanding of truth in the social practice of adjudication. One of the working assumptions of the practice of adjudication is that truth is in principle discoverable, and that accuracy in fact-finding constitutes a precondition for a just decision. But influential currents of contemporary thought are skeptical of truth as a philosophical principle, and they doubt that the acquisition of objective knowledge is possible. Due to the unsettling force of this skepticism, legal scholars are beginning to wonder whether aspiration to objective knowledge is a realistic goal of factual inquiries in adjudication.

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