There seems to be no clear consensus in the existing literature about the role of deontic logic in legal knowledge representation — in large part, we argue, because of an apparent misunderstanding of what deontic logic is, and a misplaced preoccupation with the surface formulation of legislative texts. Our aim in this paper is to indicate, first, which aspects of legal reasoning are addressed by deontic logic, and then to sketch out the beginnings of a methodology for its use (...) in the analysis and representation of law.The essential point for which we argue is that deontic logic — in some form or other —needs to be taken seriously whenever it is necessary to make explicit, and then reason about, the distinction between what ought to be the case and what is the case, or as we also say, between the ideal and the actual. We take the library regulations at Imperial College as the main illustration, and small examples from genuinely legal domains to introduce specific points. In conclusion, we touch on the role of deontic logic in the development of the theory of normative positions. (shrink)
This article engages two fundamentally different kinds of so-called natural law arguments in favor of specific moral absolutes: Elizabeth Anscombe's claim that certain actions are known to be intrinsically wrong through intuition (or mystical perceptions), and John Finnis's claim that such actions are known to be wrong because they involve acting directly against a basic human good. Both authors maintain, for example, that murder and contraceptive sexual acts are known to be wrong, always and everywhere, through their respective epistemological lens. (...) This article uses the counter-example of anesthesia to challenge these two approaches to substantiating natural law claims. The paper concludes by rejecting the view shared by Professors Finnis and Anscombe that once one rejects these foundations for moral absolutes, one is left with moral subjectivism. In fact, one is left with moral absolutes of a more restricted nature, which are known philosophically, and with more robust moral absolutes held on religious grounds. Virtues are needed in the moral life, among other reasons, because such norms require discernment and integrity for their correct application. (shrink)
Maurice Hauriou (1856-1929) -- Methodology -- Hauriou's general methodology -- Legal methodology -- Sociological methodolgy -- Methodological interplay of law and social science -- Application of methodology to large groups -- Philosophical methodology -- The philosophical status of Hauriou's methodology.
Lawyers pretend as if the process of application of laws, as well as its outcome, could be an analytic-deductive derivation; especially law students learn that legal decision-making is primarily a logic process. But we know that application of laws depends on analytic-logical as well as on voluntaristic (wilful) elements. Exact relations between these components are unknown and will be unknown. At most German law schools students as the most important imperative tool learn the so called “Auslegung” through the use of (...) theoretical instruments, which do not reflect the interpretation of law practice. These mentioned causes result in irrationality of legal decision-making. In order to achieve more rationality in the process and result of legal decision-making, the contribution makes four suggestions regarding legal methodology and legal education. These proposals consist of few long-term pragmatic approaches to more rationality of legal decision-making. (shrink)
Can there be a theory of law? -- Two views of the nature of the theory of law : a partial comparison -- On the nature of law -- The problem of authority : revisiting the service conception -- About morality and the nature of law -- Incorporation by law -- Reasoning with rules -- Why interpret? -- Interpretation without retrieval -- Intention in interpretation -- Interpretation : pluralism and innovation -- On the authority and interpretation of constitutions : some (...) preliminaries -- Postema on law's autonomy and public practical reasons : a critical comment. (shrink)
Recent work in artificial intelligence has increasingly turned to argumentation as a rich, interdisciplinary area of research that can provide new methods related to evidence and reasoning in the area of law. Douglas Walton provides an introduction to basic concepts, tools and methods in argumentation theory and artificial intelligence as applied to the analysis and evaluation of witness testimony. He shows how witness testimony is by its nature inherently fallible and sometimes subject to disastrous failures. At the same time such (...) testimony can provide evidence that is not only necessary but inherently reasonable for logically guiding legal experts to accept or reject a claim. Walton shows how to overcome the traditional disdain for witness testimony as a type of evidence shown by logical positivists, and the views of trial sceptics who doubt that trial rules deal with witness testimony in a way that yields a rational decision-making process. (shrink)
Cognitive science is transforming our understanding of the mind. New discoveries are changing how we comprehend not just language, but thought itself. Yet, surprisingly little of the new learning has penetrated discussions and analysis of the most important social institution affecting our lives-the law. Drawing on work in philosophy, psychology, anthropology, linguistics, and literary theory, Steven L. Winter has created nothing less than a tour de force of interdisciplinary analysis. (...) class='Hi'> A Clearing in the Forest rests on the simple notion that the better we understand the workings of the mind, the better we will understand all its products-especially law. Legal studies today focus on analytic skills and grand normative theories. But, to understand how real-world, legal actors reason and decide, we need a different set of tools. Cognitive science provides those tools, opening a window on the imaginative, yet orderly mental processes that animate thinking and decisionmaking among lawyers, judges, and lay persons alike. Recent findings about how humans actually categorize and reason make it possible to explain legal reasoning in new, more cogent, more productive ways. A Clearing in the Forest is a compelling meditation on both how the law works and what it all means. In uncovering the irrepressibly imaginative, creative quality of human reason, Winter shows how what we are learning about the mind changes not only our understanding of law, but ultimately of ourselves. He charts a unique course to understanding the world we inhabit, showing us the way to the clearing in the forest. (shrink)
Law and morality : constructs and models -- The morality of cognition : the normativity of ordinary reasoning -- Law in action : a praxeological approach to law and justice -- Law in context : legal activity and the institutional context -- Procedural constraint : sequentiality, routine, and formal correctness -- Legal relevance : the production of factuality and legality -- From law in the books to law in action : egyptian criminal law between doctrine, case law, jurisprudence, and practice (...) -- The natural person : the contingent and contextual production of legal personality -- The production of causality : a praxeological grammar of the use of causal concepts -- Intention in action : the teleological orientation of the parties to criminal cases -- Morality on trial : structure and intelligibility of the court sentence -- Questions of morality : sequential, structured organization of the interrogation -- The categories of morality : homosexuality between perversion and debauchery. (shrink)
The late Jim Harris' theory of the science of law, and his theoretical work on human rights and property, have been a challenge and stimulus to legal scholars for the past twenty-five years. This collection of essays, originally conceived as a festschrift and now offered to the memory of a greatly admired scholar, assesses Harris' contribution across many fields of law and legal philosophy. The chapters are written by some of the foremost specialists writing today, and reflect the wide range (...) of Harris's work, and the depth of his influence on legal studies. They include contributions on topics as diverse as the nature of law and legal reasoning, rival theories of property rights and their impact on practical questions before the courts; the nature of precedent in legal argument; and the evolving concept of human rights and its place in legal discourse. -/- With a foreword by the Honourable Justice Edwin Cameron, this volume celebrates the life and work of Jim Harris. (shrink)
This book comprises essays in law and legal theory celebrating the life and work of Jim Harris. The topics addressed reflect the wide range of Harris's work, and the depth of his influence on legal studies. They include the nature of law and legal reasoning, rival theories of property rights and their impact on practical questions before the courts; the nature of precedent in legal argument; and the evolving concept of human rights and its place in legal discourse.
I argue that there is methodological space for a functional explanation of the nature of law that does not commit the theorist to a view about the value of that function for society, nor whether law is the best means of accomplishing it. A functional explanation will nonetheless provide a conceptual framework for a better understanding of the nature of law. First I examine the proper role for function in a theory of law and then argue for the possibility of (...) a neutral functional theory, addressing issues raised by Leslie Green, Stephen Perry, Michael Moore and John Finnis. (shrink)
This book discusses theories of legal reasoning and provides an overall view of the rhetoric of legal justification. It shows how and why lawyers arguments can be rationally persuasive even though rarely, if ever, logically conclusive or compelling. It examines the role of "legal syllogism" and universality of legal reasoning, looking at arguments of consequentialism and principle, and concludes by questioning the infallibility of judges as lawmakers.
This book addresses three major questions about law and legal systems: (1) What are the defining and organizing forms of legal institutions, legal rules, interpretive methodologies, and other legal phenomena? (2) How does frontal and systematic focus on these forms advance understanding of such phenomena? (3) What credit should the functions of forms have when such phenomena serve policy and related purposes, rule of law values, and fundamental political values such as democracy, liberty, and justice? This is the first book (...) that seeks to offer general answers to these questions and thus gives form in the law its due. The answers not only provide articulate conversancy with the subject but also reveal insights into the nature of law itself, the oldest and foremost problem in legal theory and allied subjects. (shrink)
The Postscript to 'The Concept of Law' contains Herbert Hart's only sustained and considered response to the objections made by his distinguished critic, Ronald Dworkin. In this extraordinary collection, an array of leading legal philosophers evaluates the success of Hart's response to Dworkin.
The Concept of Law is the most important and original work of legal philosophy written this century. First published in 1961, it is considered the masterpiece of H.L.A. Hart's enormous contribution to the study of jurisprudence and legal philosophy. Its elegant language and balanced arguments have sparked wide debate and unprecedented growth in the quantity and quality of scholarship in this area--much of it devoted to attacking or defending Hart's theories. Principal among Hart's critics is renowned lawyer and political philosopher (...) Ronald Dworkin who in the 1970s and 80s mounted a series of challenges to Hart's Concept of Law. It seemed that Hart let these challenges go unanswered until, after his death in 1992, his answer to Dworkin's criticism was discovered among his papers. In this valuable and long-awaited new edition Hart presents an Epilogue in which he answers Dworkin and some of his other most influential critics including Fuller and Finnis. Written with the same clarity and candor for which the first edition is famous, the Epilogue offers a sharper interpretation of Hart's own views, rebuffs the arguments of critics like Dworkin, and powerfully asserts that they have based their criticisms on a faulty understanding of Hart's work. Hart demonstrates that Dworkin's views are in fact strikingly similar to his own. In a final analysis, Hart's response leaves Dworkin's criticisms considerably weakened and his positions largely in question. Containing Hart's final and powerful response to Dworkin in addition to the revised text of the original Concept of Law, this thought-provoking and persuasively argued volume is essential reading for lawyers and philosophers throughout the world. (shrink)
The article provides an analysis on how much the standard court proceedings can be regarded as the research, which is performed by investigating by what manner and measures the justice in a procedural sense is implemented. It is generally acknowledged that the court, as a subject, solving a legal dispute, implements justice only in the case, when it ensures the impartiality towards all persons. The appropriate legal proceedings form a constituent part of the constitutional right to apply in the court. (...) The article aims at introducing certain aspects of the implementation of the principle of justice in the court proceedings of Lithuania. It is indicated that the lack of legal methodology results in different arguments of the rendered decisions and their unpredictability, therefore, it does not encourage to opt for the legal peace. The article is topical in a sense that it has not provided an analysis, on which the aspects of impartiality reveal themselves in the nowadays case law in particular cases and how it produces an effect on the approach to justice. In Lithuania, doctrinal presumptions were created for the freedom of the courts, upon which the courts started to formulate new procedural regulations. The freedom of the actions of judges is based on the aim to ensure a stronger safety in regard to the rights pertaining to one of the public groups, i.e. to disallow the domination of certain subjects over the others by eliminating inequality between the parties. The freedom of the actions of judges is also justified by the aim to render the right decision. However, the formulation of the new regulations according to the actual situation by too freely interpreting the norm of the proceedings, without having the doctrinal basis for that, causes the legal confusion, thus inconsistency in the case law appears, the inner contradictions arise and, in addition to that, there is a failure to follow the standard of impartiality. The individualisation of each legal dispute pursuant to the newly established procedural regulations creates the presumptions for legal instability. Upon the absence of doctrinal substantiation for the newly formulated procedural regulations, the risk arises for the courts to unduly avail of the competence granted to them, thus there will be no implementation of the justice attained. The approach, based on the demand for an individual safety, encourages to refuse the regulations, which are universally applied. Such conception of justice is characteristic for legal individualism, which is grounded in consumerism, by means of which the standard court proceedings are refused, while the extended sympathy theory becomes the starting point. The comprehension and observance of the legal methodology is one of the conditions for the development of the consistent case law. The presence of a clear method in the case law will allow to prevent from pursuing different legal conceptions, i.e. different reasoning of a court decision upon the similar circumstances, as well as it will prevent from speculating on the accepted legal position by refusing the legal argument. (shrink)
How can there be rights in law? We learn from moral philosophy that rights protect persons in a special way because they have peremptory force. But how can this aspect of practical reason be captured by the law? For many leading legal philosophers the legal order is constructed on the foundations of factual sources and with materials provided by technical argument. For this 'legal positivist' school of jurisprudence, the law endorses rights by some official act suitably communicated. But how can (...) any such legal enactment recreate the proper force of rights? Rights take their meaning and importance from moral reflection, which only expresses itself in practical reasoning. This puzzle about rights invites a reconsideration of the nature and methods of legal doctrine and of jurisprudence itself. Legal Rights argues that the theory of law and legal concepts is a project of moral and political philosophy, the best account of which is to be found in the social contract tradition. It outlines an argument according to which legal rights can be justified before equal citizens under the constraints of public reason. The place of rights in law is explained by the unique position of law as an essential component of the civil condition and a necessary condition for freedom.
History and theory -- Descriptions and constructions -- The practical argument -- Rights in law -- Obligation and permission -- Legal relations -- The right to property -- Freedom through law -- Rights in legal deliberation.
This Major Reference series brings together a wide range of key international articles in law and legal theory. Many of these essays are not readily accessible, and their presentation in these volumes will provide a vital new resource for both research and teaching. Each volume is edited by leading international authorities who explain the significance and context of articles in an informative and complete introduction.
How have legal philosophers systemized law, and what types of assumptions have they made in undertaking this task? In what sense is law a system, and how is it maintained as such? This translation of a French book answers these two core inter-related questions by surveying and analyzing the theories of a number of important European legal philosophers as well as offering its own distinct theory for viewing the law as a system.
This paper is a short commentary on Michelle Dempsey's contribution to a symposium on the work of John Finnis which took place at Villanova Law School in the fall of 2011. It focuses on Finnis's claim that there is a presumptive obligation to obey the law and some worries that Dempsey raises against this claim. It is forthcoming, along with several other papers from the symposium, in the Villanova Law Review.
This is the first book that attempts to analyze and define the metholodology and values of contemporary accounts of adjudication, which can be divided into orthodox philosophies on the one hand and heretical accounts on the other. The author offers an incisive and original analysis of how these supposedly incompatible accounts actually differ.
This paper deals with the particularities of vagueness in law. Thereby the question of the law’s capacity for vagueness is closely related to the question of the impact of vagueness in law, since exaggerated vagueness combined with the elasticity of legal interpretation methodology may affect the constitutional principles of legal certainty, the division of powers, and the binding force of statute. To represent vagueness and the instability of legal concepts and rules, a Hyperbola of Meaning is introduced, opposing Heck’s (...) metaphor of a core and a periphery of meaning. Furthermore, evidence is provided that the use of vague legal concepts and the capability of legal methodology to affect the specific meaning of those concepts, may give rise to astonishing and irrational changes of meaning of the law. Finally the paper sets out in search of an added value of vagueness in law, and weighs several stated pros and contras of vagueness. The paper is written against a background of the German speaking realm. (shrink)