Peter Tillers, Latvian-born American legal scholar, Died at 72

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Peter Tillers, American scholar of the law of evidence, was born in Riga, Latvia, in 1943, and died on October 2, 2015.

Peter was educated at Yale (A.B., 1966) and Harvard Law School (J.D., 1969, LL.M., 1972).

He was Professor of Law at Cardozo Law School, New York, from 1986.

Peter was a reviser of John Henry Wigmore’s multi-volume treatise on the law of evidence and published a variety of articles on evidence, inference, and investigation.

He was an editor of the Oxford journal Law, Probability and Risk.

Peter was chairman and secretary of the Evidence Section of the Association of American Law Schools.

He was a Fellow of Law & Humanities at Harvard University and a Senior Max Rheinstein Fellow at the University of Munich.

Peter was a visiting professor at Harvard Law School in the spring semester of 2002.

Professor Peter Tillers was legal adviser for the Latvian mission to the United Nations during the 48th Session of the General Assembly.

He maintains a website with discussion of a wide range of general issues of evidence.

Peter’ scholarship focused on evidential inference and fact investigation in legal settings.

He maintained that multiple methods of marshaling and analyzing evidence are important in trials and in pretrial investigation and informal fact discovery (and in many other human domains).

Peter maintain that inference networks offer a useful window into investigative discovery and proof at trial.

But he believed that subjective, synthetic, and gestalt-like perspectives on evidence, inference, and proof are also essential.

This aspect of his thinking about evidential inference is almost undoubtedly attributable to his early interest in Immanuel Kant, G.W.F. Hegel, and, in general, German Idealism.

Peter came to the conclusion that real headway in the study of human inference (and of much else) can be made if and only if it is understood that the human animal is an intelligent organism that “thinks” both at a conscious and subconscious level; he believed that Aristotle was fundamentally right in the way he, Aristotle, viewed (wo)man and his (her) place in the cosmos.

Peter passed away at age 72 in October 2015.