By Nicholas Rescher
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Additional info for Dialectics: A Controversy-Oriented Approach to the Theory of Knowledge
All rational discussion presupposes an exchange of contentions, and it will not do in such a context simply to silence one of the parties by an extraneous act of force majeure that precludes him from the very outset from developing a case. Accordingly, the situation must be such that there are always some considerations that are "allowed to count" towards building up an at least provisionally adequate case. Thus there must always be established ground rules specifying certain categories of contentions as endowed with evidential weight.
Burden of proof involves two rather different sorts of things. One authority has put the matter as follows: In modern law the phrase "burden of proof" may mean one of two things, which are often confused—the burden of establishing the proposition at issue on which the case depends, and the burden of producing 1. Sir Courtenay Peregrine Ilbert, art. ), vol. 10, pp. 11–21 (see p. 15). 2. These issues and many others that bear upon the concerns of this chapter are treated in that classic work on legal reasoning: J.
Accordingly, the situation must be such that there are always some considerations that are "allowed to count" towards building up an at least provisionally adequate case. Thus there must always be established ground rules specifying certain categories of contentions as endowed with evidential weight. It makes sense to speak of a "burden of proof" only in the context of established rules regarding the discharge of such a burden. In rational controversy, there must always be some impartially fixed common ground determining what is to count as evidence.