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The question of who has the burden of proof is often important in practice. We must frequently make decisions and act on the basis not of conclusive evidence but of what is reasonable to presume true. Consequently, it happens that a given practical question must be solved by referring to principles that explicitly or implicitly determine, at least partly, where the burden of proof should rest. In this essay, I consider the role of the logic of the burden of proof in a debate on global justice. In particular, I ask how the logic of the burden of proof is seen by those who defend conservative positions in a debate and deny our obligations to reduce poverty beyond borders. I argue that defenders of conservative positions tend to shift the burden of proof in an unjustified way.
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Keywords: burden of proof; developing countries; global justice; nationalistic discrimination

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Turku, Department of Philosophy, FI-20014 Turku, Finland , Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 2005-01-01

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