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What makes the stories told in court believable, and thus convincing? Part of the answer, this article suggests, lies in narrative coherence. Stories “make sense” and are plausible, not because they necessarily correspond in a direct way to “what really happened,” but rather because they seem structurally whole, consistent, and complete. They have achieved narrative coherence. After considering the role of narrative coherence in the plausibility of narratives, the article presents a typology for narrative coherence, breaking it down into external and internal coherence, with further component parts to each one. The article then turns to the Supreme Court case of Scott v. Harris, a fascinating opinion in which members of the Court construct two different versions of the underlying story of the case. Each side is wholly convinced of the plausibility of its own version and equally incredulous that the other side could see and tell the story so differently. How could respective members of the Court sincerely believe in such different versions of the story? How could they regard their version as the only plausible one? The answer lies partly in the ways in which their respective stories achieve narrative coherence.

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