Evidence Matters: Science, Proof, and Truth in the Law


Photo credits: Alchetron

Symposium with Susan Haack

Date: March 10, 13.00 – 17.00
Location: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Room: HG 14A-33

The symposium is about Evidence Matters: Science, Proof, and Truth in the Law (2014), written by Susan Haack. Susan Haack is Professor of Philosophy and Law at the University of Miami. She is well known for her pragmatic theory of knowledge, presented in Evidence and Inquiry (1993): Haack’s foundherentism is a synthesis of empiricist foundationalism and coherentism. In her new book she applies this epistemology to legal truth and evidence.

In the Netherlands, the latter topic is highly relevant, among other things, to the much-debated issue of wrongful convictions, such as the Putten murder case. The symposium is of interest to academics, legal practitioners, and all those who are interested in this fascinating intersection of judicial interpretation, the law as a veritistic practice, and theory of knowledge.

Beside keynote speaker Susan Haack, four Dutch experts will present papers from the perspectives of their various disciplines, such as theory of knowledge, legal philosophy, and legal psychology.


  • Susan Haack (Professor of Philosophy and Law, University of Miami)
  • René van Woudenberg (Professor of Epistemology and Metaphysics, VU)
  • Cees Maris (em. Professor of Philosophy of Law, University of Amsterdam)
  • Anne Ruth Mackor (Professor of Profession Ethics, RUG)
  • Peter van Koppen (Professor of Psychology and Law, VU)


  • Wouter Veraart (Professor of Philosophy of Law, VU)
  • Henk Elffers (em. Professor of the Empirical Study of Criminal Justice, VU)



Chair: Wouter Veraart
1:00 – 1:05   Opening Wouter Veraart
1:05 – 1:45   Susan Haack (keynote speech): Justice, Truth, and Proof
1:45 – 2:05   Questions
2:05 – 2:25   René van Woudenberg
2:25 – 2:55   Questions
2:35 – 3:00   Break

Chair: Henk Elffers
3:00 – 3:20     Cees Maris: Truth in Cases of Incest
3.20 – 3:30     Questions
3:30 – 3:50     Anne Ruth Mackor
3:50 – 4:00     Questions
4:00 – 4:20     Peter van Koppen
4:20 – 4:30     Questions
4:30 – 5:00     Reply: Susan Haack
5:00 – 6:00     Drinks

More information

Participation is free of charge. Please register here.


This symposium is made possible through the support of the Faculty of Law (VU) and the Abraham Kuyper Center for Science and the Big Questions.

Cees Maris
Wouter Veraart
Irma Verlaan
René van Woudenberg


For further information or if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Irma Verlaan (g.h.verlaan@vu.nl).