The role of coherence in legal reasoning

Law and Philosophy 3 (3):355 - 374 (1984)
Many contemporary philosophers of law agree that a necessary condition for a decision to be legally justified, even in a hard case, is that it coheres with established law. Some, namely Sartorius and Dworkin, have gone beyond that relatively uncontroversial claim and described the role of coherence in legal justification as analogous to its role in moral and scientific justification, on contemporary theories. In this, I argue, they are mistaken. Specifically, coherence in legal justification is sometimes specific to a branch of law, and there is nothing isomorphic to this in the models of moral and scientific justification. Although Dworkin and Sartorius rely on the concept of coherence, they do not explicate it. In the course of examining their views, this essay offers a partial analysis of coherence on their models. Finally, two canons of relevance, governing when global coherence considerations are appropriate to legal justification, are presented.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/BF00654833
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 28,208
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Legal Justification by Optimal Coherence.Amalia Amaya - 2011 - Ratio Juris 24 (3):304-329.
Law and Coherence.Jaap Hage - 2004 - Ratio Juris 17 (1):87-105.
Does Arguing From Coherence Make Sense?Stefano Bertea - 2005 - Argumentation 19 (4):433-446.
Minimal Semantics and Legal Interpretation.Izabela Skoczeń - 2016 - International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique 29 (3):615-633.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Fumerton on Coherence Theories.Laurence BonJour - 1994 - Journal of Philosophical Research 19:103-108.
The Role of Coherence in Epistemic Justification.T. Shogenji - 2001 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 79 (1):90 – 106.
Cohering With.Erik J. Olsson - 1999 - Erkenntnis 50 (2-3):273 - 291.
Formal Models of Coherence and Legal Epistemology.Amalia Amaya - 2007 - Artificial Intelligence and Law 15 (4):429-447.
Legal Justification by Optimal Coherence.Amalia Amaya - 2011 - Ratio Juris 24 (3):304-329.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

62 ( #85,031 of 2,172,833 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #324,903 of 2,172,833 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums