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Legal Reason

Legal Reason
The Use of Analogy in Legal Argument


  • Date Published: February 2005
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521849678


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About the Authors
  • Legal Reason describes and explains the process of analogical reasoning, which is the distinctive feature of legal argument. It challenges the prevailing view, urged by Edward Levi, Cass Sunstein, Richard Posner and others, which regards analogical reasoning as logically flawed or as a defective form of deductive reasoning. Lloyd Weinreb reveals that it is the same as the reasoning used routinely everyday--derived from the innate human capacity to recognize the general in the particular, on which thought itself depends. Moreover, the use of analogical reasoning is dictated by the nature of law, which requires the application of rules to particular facts.

    • Enters explicity into current jurisprudential debate of great importance
    • Takes a position contrary to the standard view, taken by Edward Levi and currently by leading legal scholars
    • Draws on current work in developmental and cognitive psychology
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "The author displays a rare ability to be concise and convincing, precise and gripping, ensuring that this book will serve as both a thought-provoking work to those familiar with legal thought and jurisprudence, and as an approachable book to legal novices." Harvard Law Review

    "Weinreb has known where to put the spotlight on matters of criminal law and procedure, copywright, theories of natural law, environmental law and, in this case, pragmatic legal reasoning." The Law and Politics Book Review, Lief H. Carter, The Colorado College

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2005
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521849678
    • length: 196 pages
    • dimensions: 216 x 140 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.4kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Analogical and inductive and deductive reasoning
    2. Steamboats, broadcast transmissions, and electronic eavesdropping
    3. Analogical legal reasoning
    4. Analogical reasoning, legal education, and the law
    Appendix A: note on analogical reasoning
    Appendix B: biographical notes

  • Author

    Lloyd L. Weinreb, Harvard University, Massachusetts
    Lloyd L. Weinreb is a Dane Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. He is the author of Natural Law and Justice and Oedipus at Fenway Park: What Rights Are and Why There Are Any.

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