The aim of this essay is to develop a coherence theory for the justification of evidentiary judgments in law. The main claim of the coherence theory proposed in this article is that a belief about the events being litigated is justified if and only if it is a belief that an epistemically responsible fact finder might hold by virtue of its coherence in like circumstances. The article argues that this coherentist approach to evidence and legal proof has the resources to (...) meet some of the main objections that may be addressed against attempts to analyze the justification of evidentiary judgments in law in coherentist terms. It concludes by exploring some implications of the proposed version of legal coherentism for a jurisprudence of evidence. (shrink)
This paper argues for a coherentist theory of the justification of evidentiary judgments in law, according to which a hypothesis about the events being litigated is justified if and only if it is such that an epistemically responsible fact-finder might have accepted it as justified by virtue of its coherence in like circumstances. It claims that this version of coherentism has the resources to address a main problem facing coherence theories of evidence and legal proof, namely, the problem of the (...) coherence bias. The paper then develops an aretaic approach to the standards of epistemic responsibility which govern legal fact-finding. It concludes by exploring some implications of the proposed account of the justification of evidentiary judgments in law for the epistemology of legal proof. (shrink)
This paper examines the concept of coherence and its role in legal reasoning. First, it identifies some problem areas confronting coherence theories of legal reasoning about both disputed questions of fact and disputed questions of law. Second, with a view to solving these problems, it proposes a coherence model of legal reasoning. The main tenet of this coherence model is that a belief about the law and the facts under dispute is justified if it is “optimally coherent,” that is, if (...) it is such that an epistemically responsible legal decision-maker would have accepted it as justified by virtue of its coherence in like circumstances. Last, looking beyond the coherence theory, the paper explores the implications of the version of legal coherentism proposed for a general theory of legal reasoning and rationality. (shrink)
This paper argues that formal models of coherence are useful for constructing a legal epistemology. Two main formal approaches to coherence are examined: coherence-based models of belief revision and the theory of coherence as constraint satisfaction. It is shown that these approaches shed light on central aspects of a coherentist legal epistemology, such as the concept of coherence, the dynamics of coherentist justification in law, and the mechanisms whereby coherence may be built in the course of legal decision-making.
In recent years coherence theories of law and adjudication have been extremely influential in legal scholarship. These theories significantly advance the case for coherentism in law. Nonetheless, there remain a number of problems in the coherence theory in law. This ambitious new work makes the first concerted attempt to develop a coherence-based theory of legal reasoning, and in so doing addresses, or at least mitigates these problems. The book is organized in three parts. The first part provides a critical analysis (...) of the main coherentist approaches to both normative and factual reasoning in law. The second part investigates the coherence theory in a number of fields that are relevant to law: coherence theories of epistemic justification, coherentist approaches to belief revision and theory-choice in science, coherence theories of practical and moral reasoning and coherence-based approaches to discourse interpretation. Taking this interdisciplinary analysis as a starting point, the third part develops a coherence-based model of legal reasoning. While this model builds upon the standard theory of legal reasoning, it also leads to rethinking some of the basic assumptions that characterize this theory, and suggests some lines along which it may be further developed. Thus, ultimately, the book not only improves upon the current state of coherence theory in law, but also contributes to the larger debate about how to articulate a theory of legal reasoning that results in better decision-making. (shrink)
This book explores the relevance of virtue theory to law from a variety of perspectives. The concept of virtue is central in both contemporary ethics and epistemology. In contrast, in law, there has not been a comparable trend toward explaining normativity on the model of virtue theory. In the last few years, however, there has been an increasing interest in virtue theory among legal scholars. 'Virtue jurisprudence' has emerged as a serious candidate for a theory of law and adjudication. Advocates (...) of virtue jurisprudence put primary emphasis on aretaic concepts rather than on duties or consequences. Aretaic concepts are, on this view, crucial for explaining law and adjudication. This book is a collection of essays examining the role of virtue in general jurisprudence as well as in specific areas of the law. Part I puts together a number of papers discussing various philosophical aspects of an approach to law and adjudication based on the virtues. Part II discusses the relationship between law, virtue and character development, with some of the essays selected analysing this relationship by combining both eastern perspectives on virtue and character with western approaches. Parts III and IV examine problems of substantive areas of law, more specifically, criminal law and evidence law, from within a virtue-based framework. Last, Part V discusses the relevance of empathy to our understanding of justice and legal morality. (shrink)
This short piece is the introduction to the Special Issue on ‘Virtue and the Law’ published by Jurisprudence in March 2019 (vol 9, issue 1). It explains the scope of the project and its place in the unfolding of virtue jurisprudence that has occurred in the past few decades, as well as introducing the topics addressed in the volume. In the first couple of pages the authors/editors outline a very brief genealogy of virtue jurisprudence and of its relation to both (...) legal theory and virtue theory. The rest of the text presents the contributions to the volume in turn, identifying some of the substantive issues addressed by each of them and their place in the investigation of the interface between virtue theory and legal theory. (shrink)
This paper articulates an egalitarian conception of judicial humility and justifies its value on the grounds that it importantly advances the legal and political ideal of fraternity. This account of the content and value of the virtue of humility stands in sharp contrast with the dominant view of judicial humility as deference or judicial restraint. The paper concludes by discussing some ways in which the account of humility and of its value provided in the paper furthers our understanding of the (...) judicial virtues and of the political implications of giving virtue a role in adjudication. (shrink)
This handbook offers a deep analysis of the main forms of legal reasoning and argumentation from both a logical-philosophical and legal perspective. These forms are covered in an exhaustive and critical fashion, and the handbook accordingly divides in three parts: the first one introduces and discusses the basic concepts of practical reasoning. The second one discusses the main general forms of reasoning and argumentation relevant for legal discourse. The third one looks at their application in law as well as at (...) the different areas of legal reasoning. The handbook’s division in three parts reflects its conceptual architecture, since legal reasoning and argumentation are considered in relation to the more general types of reasoning. (shrink)
Según Manuel Atienza, la teoría de la argumentación jurídica se tiene que ocupar de responder tres preguntas: cómo analizar una argumentación, cómo evaluarla y cómo argumentar. Esta concepción de la teoría de la argumentación jurídica es, sin embargo, demasiado restrictiva. Además de proporcionar una respuesta adecuada a estas preguntas, una teoría de la argumentación jurídica debe ocuparse también de la cuestión de qué virtudes debe tener un juez para hacer buenas argumentaciones. La teoría de la argumentación jurídica está, por ello, (...) íntimamente vinculada con una teoría de la ética judicial. According to Manuel Atienza, a theory of legal reasoning should give an answer to the following three questions: how to analyze an argumentation, how to evaluate it, and how to argue. This conception of the theory of legal reasoning is, however, too restrictive. in addition to providing a sound answer to these questions, a theory of legal reasoning should also give us an answer to the question of which judicial virtues are necessary to make good arguments. A theory of legal reasoning is thus intimately linked to a theory of judicial ethics. (shrink)
What is the role and value of virtue, emotion and imagination in law and legal reasoning? These new essays, by leading scholars of both law and philosophy, offer striking and exploratory answers to this neglected question. The collection takes a holistic approach, inquiring as to the connections and relations between virtue, emotion and imagination. In addition to the principal focus on adjudication, essays in the collection also engage with a variety of different legal, political and moral contexts: eg criminal law (...) sentencing, the Black Lives Matter movement and professional ethics. A number of different areas of the law are addressed and the issues explored include: the benefits and limits of empathy in legal reasoning; the role of attention and perception in judicial reasoning;, the identification of judicial virtues and judicial vices ; the values and dangers of certain imaginative devices ; and the interactive and social dimensions of virtue, emotion and imagination. (shrink)
This paper examines the normativity of law, that is, law’s capacity to guide behavior by generating reasons for action, from the perspective of virtue jurisprudence. It articulates a virtue-based model of law’s normativity according to which the law generates first order reasons for action (that is, loyalty-reasons) that need to be factored in citizens’ and legal officials’ practical reasoning, which consists, primarily, in the search for the best specification of the values involved in light of an account of the good (...) life and the role that the law plays wherein. The outcome of this piece of practical reasoning is a judgment about what ought to be done, the rightness of which depends, on the proposed model, on whether it is a judgment that a virtuous person would characteristically do in the circumstances. This model, it is argued, has distinctive features that set it apart from some prominent accounts of the normativity of law. It may, however, be disqualified as a plausible alternative account of the normativity of law on the grounds that it fails to provide action-guidance. The last part of the paper responds to this objection in a way that unveils the relevance of the social dimensions of virtue to law’s normativity. (shrink)
La presente contribución recoge el diálogo mantenido entre distintos filósofos del Derecho a propósito de la última obra del Profesor Massimo La Torre “Il diritto contro se stesso. Saggio sul positivismo giuridico e la sua crisi”. Al hilo del trabajo del citado autor, los participantes reflexionan sobre preguntas centrales para la teoría y filosofía del Derecho contemporánea: ¿cuál es la naturaleza del Derecho? ¿es el razonamiento jurídico eminentemente moral? ¿qué lugar debe ocupar la práctica jurídica en su conceptualización? ¿qué lugar (...) ocupa la fuerza en el Derecho? (shrink)
Coherence and Systematization in Law.Amalia Amaya - 2011 - In Colin Aitken, Amalia Amaya, Kevin D. Ashley, Carla Bagnoli, Giorgio Bongiovanni, Bartosz Brożek, Cristiano Castelfranchi, Samuele Chilovi, Marcello Di Bello, Jaap Hage, Kenneth Einar Himma, Lewis A. Kornhauser, Emiliano Lorini, Fabrizio Macagno, Andrei Marmor, J. J. Moreso, Veronica Rodriguez-Blanco, Antonino Rotolo, Giovanni Sartor, Burkhard Schafer, Chiara Valentini, Bart Verheij, Douglas Walton & Wojciech Załuski (eds.), Handbook of Legal Reasoning and Argumentation. Springer Verlag. pp. 637-672.details
This chapter examines coherentist approaches to the justification of normative judgments in law. First, it provides a survey of the main approaches to normative coherence defended in the literature on legal coherentism and discusses the principal objections that threaten to undermine the coherence theory of legal justification. One problem with coherentism, namely the problem of the coherence bias, has not, however, received enough attention in the literature. This chapter states this problem in detail and argues that a modified version of (...) legal coherentism—namely virtue coherentism—has the resources to address this problem. The chapter then engages in a second-order debate about the relevance of coherence in justification by inquiring into the reasons why coherence is worth pursuing when reasoning in law. Finally, this chapter concludes by assessing the value and limits of coherentist reasoning in the legal domain. (shrink)
En los últimos años, ha habido un creciente interés en analizar los problemas relativos a la epistemología de la prueba jurídica. En distintas culturas jurídicas, las cuestiones de prueba y razonamiento acerca de los hechos han sido abordadas desde diversas perspectivas. La cultura jurídica latinoamericana no es, en este sentido, una excepción: hay actualmente un vigoroso grupo de juristas en la región que se ha ocupado de estudiar problemas relativos a los procesos probatorios en el Derecho...