Demystifying Legal Reasoning

Demystifying Legal Reasoning

by Larry Alexander, Emily Sherwin
     
 

Demystifying Legal Reasoning defends the proposition that there are no special forms of reasoning peculiar to law. Legal decision makers engage in the same modes of reasoning that all actors use in deciding what to do: open-ended moral reasoning, empirical reasoning, and deduction from authoritative rules. This book addresses common-law reasoning, when prior… See more details below

Overview

Demystifying Legal Reasoning defends the proposition that there are no special forms of reasoning peculiar to law. Legal decision makers engage in the same modes of reasoning that all actors use in deciding what to do: open-ended moral reasoning, empirical reasoning, and deduction from authoritative rules. This book addresses common-law reasoning, when prior judicial decisions determine the law, and interpretation of texts. In both areas, the popular view that legal decision makers practice special forms of reasoning is false.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521703956
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
07/31/2008
Series:
Cambridge Introductions to Philosophy and Law Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
264
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Pt. 1 Law and Its Function

I Settling Moral Controversy 9

Pt. 2 Common-Law Reasoning: Deciding Cases When Prior Judicial Decisions Determine the Law

II Ordinary Reason Applied to Law: Natural Reasoning and Deduction from Rules 31

III The Mystification of Common-Law Reasoning 64

IV Common-Law Practice 104

Pt. 3 Reasoning from Canonical Legal Texts

V Interpreting Statutes and Other Posited Rules 131

VI Infelicities of the Intended Meaning of Canonical Texts and Norms Constraining Interpretation 167

VII Nonintentionalist Interpretation 191

VIII Is Constitutional Interpretation Different? Why It Isn't and Is 220

Epilogue: All or Nothing 233

Selected Bibliography 237

Index 247

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