Reconstructing complex analogy argumentation in judicial decisions: A pragma-dialectical perspective

Argumentation 19 (4):471-483 (2005)

Abstract

Empirical research in the field of legal interpretation shows that, in many cases, analogy argumentation is complex rather than simple. Traditional analytical approaches to analogy argumentation do not explore that complexity. In most cases analogy argumentation is reconstructed as a simple form of argumentation that consists of two premises and a conclusion. This article focuses on the question of how to analyze and evaluate complex analogy argumentation. It is shown how the pragma-dialectical approach provides clues for analyzing complex analogy argumentation and how the criteria for evaluating analogy argumentation can be used to reconstruct these types of complex analogy argumentation in Dutch case law. The critical questions in the argumentation scheme do not only serve as a tool for analyzing arguments justifying analogy argumentation, but are also helpful in analyzing arguments against a specific analogy argumentation

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