Informal Logic 28 (1):31-43 (2008)

Authors
Damiano Canale
Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi
Abstract
We remark that the A Contrario Argument is an ambiguous technique of justification of judicial decisions. We distinguish two uses and versions of it, strong and weak, taking as example the normative sentence “Underprivileged citizens are permitted to apply for State benefit”. According to the strong version, only underprivileged citizens are permitted to apply for State benefit, so stateless persons are not. According to the weak, the law does not regulate the position of underprivileged stateless persons in this respect. We propose an inferential analysis of the two uses along the lines of the scorekeeping practice as described by Robert Brandom, and try to point out what are the ontological assumptions of the two. We conclude that the strong version is justified if and only if there is a relevant incompatibility between the regulated subject and the present case
Keywords A Contrario Argument, Exchange of Reasons, Gaps in the Law, Incompatibility Relations, Inferentialism, Legal Argumentation, Legal Reasoning, Negation, Ontological Assumptions
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References found in this work BETA

Making It Explicit.Isaac Levi & Robert B. Brandom - 1996 - Journal of Philosophy 93 (3):145.
Logic and Conversation.H. Paul Grice - 1975 - In Maite Ezcurdia & Robert J. Stainton (eds.), The Semantics-Pragmatics Boundary in Philosophy. Broadview Press. pp. 47.
The Construction of Social Reality.Alan Nelson - 1995 - Ethics 108 (1):208-210.

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Citations of this work BETA

What the Legislature Did Not Say.Damiano Canale & Giovanni Tuzet - 2016 - Journal of Argumentation in Context 5 (3):249-270.

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