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Article

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Abstract

What does it mean to say that a decision is a legal error? Does "legal error" have any real meaning? This Article approaches legal error in the same way that a scientific paper might approach perpetual motion machines. The purpose is to question whether anything really fits that description and to show that things which may seem at first to constitute legal error, upon closer inspection, do not. As usually understood, error requires two things. First, there must be a hypothetical result, determined by the relevant decisionmaking inputs, which is inconsistent with
the actual result. This is the requirement of determinacy. Second, it must be the case that the actual result should have conformed to that hypothetical result. This is the requirement of direction of fit.

Date of Authorship for this Version

1986

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