Document Type


Publication Date



Juries, Questions of fact, Questions of law, Judicial notice, Administrative decisionmaking


Courts | Evidence | Judges


Articles limning the law pertaining to judicial notice are legion, and the footnotes which have been cite checked by generations of law review editors must number in the thousands. These articles assume that reason, properly employed, produces correct answers. They assume that disagreements can be resolved by reason, because it is self-evident that any problem, once identified, can be solved. Reflected here are the presuppositions of lawyers brought up in the Western legal tradition.

What if one were to doubt that reason necessarily governed the behavior of lawyers? What if one doubted as well that all problems were susceptible to solution? If a radical disbelief were in order, would not this orientation render suspect the presentational methodology which has served to create the current conventional wisdom? In short, does not doubt demand recourse to new styles of discourse? Instead of articulating a series of objective propositions, after the style of geometry, this new discourse might suggest various subjective positions. Instead of believing that reason can prove one or another position true or false, this approach might accept the truth of each within its own milieu. A hundred flowers might bloom in the intellectual gardenplace, each as true and beautiful as the other.

Publication Citation

Published in: Washington Law Review, vol. 61, no. 4 (October 1986).