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Demystifying Legal Reasoning

$104.00 (P)

Part of Cambridge Introductions to Philosophy and Law

  • Date Published: June 2008
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521878982

$ 104.00 (P)

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About the Authors
  • Demystifying Legal Reasoning defends the proposition that there are no special forms of reasoning peculiar to law. Legal decision makers engage in the same modes of reasoning that all actors use in deciding what to do: open-ended moral reasoning, empirical reasoning, and deduction from authoritative rules. This book addresses common law reasoning when prior judicial decisions determine the law, and interpretation of texts. In both areas, the popular view that legal decision makers practice special forms of reasoning is false.

    • Challenges widespread assumptions about legal reasoning
    • The book offers a comprehensive analysis of methods of legal reasoning
    • Questions the current thinking about interpretation of legal texts
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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2008
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521878982
    • length: 264 pages
    • dimensions: 234 x 157 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.47kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Law and its Function:
    1. Moral controversy
    Part II. Common Law Reasoning: Deciding Cases When Prior Judicial Decisions Determine the Law:
    2. Ordinary reason applied to law: natural reasoning and deduction from rules
    3. The mystification of common-law reasoning
    4. Common law practice
    Part III. Reasoning from Canonical Legal Text:
    5. Interpreting statutes and other posited rules
    6. Infelicities of the intended meaning of canonical texts and norms constraining interpretation
    7. Non-intentionalist interpretation
    8. Is constitutional interpretation different? Why it isn't and is
    9. All or nothing.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Philosophy of Law, Rights, and Justice
  • Authors

    Larry Alexander, University of San Diego School of Law
    Professor Alexander is a Warren Distinguished Professor of Law at University of San Diego School of Law. He is the author of: Is There a Right to Freedom of Expression? (Cambridge, 2005); (with Emily Sherwin) The Rules: Morality, Rules, and the Dilemmas of Law (2001); Constitutionalism: Philosophical Foundations (Cambridge, 1998); (with Paul Horton) Whom Does the Constitution Command? (1988); several anthologies; and over 160 articles, book chapters, and review essays in jurisprudence, constitutional law, criminal law, and normative ethics. He has been a member of the faculty at the University of San Diego School of Law since 1970. He is co-editor of the journal Legal Theory (Cambridge), and he serves on the editorial boards of Ethics, Law and Philosophy and Criminal Law and Philosophy. He is co-executive director of the Institute for Law and Philosophy at the University of San Diego, and he is past president of AMINTAPHIL.

    Emily Sherwin, Cornell University Law School, New York
    Professor Sherwin is Professor of Law at Cornell University Law School. She specializes in jurisprudence, property, and remedies. She is the author (with Larry Alexander) of The Rule of Rules: Morality, Rules, and the Dilemmas of Law (2001) and has published numerous book chapters, articles, and reviews in her subjects of specialty. She was a member of the faculty at the University of Kentucky College of Law from 1985 to 1990 and the University of San Diego School of Law from 1990 to 2003, when she moved to Cornell University. She is a member of the advisory committee for the ALI's Restatement (Third) of Restitution and Unjust Enrichment and a regular participant in roundtable conferences of the University of San Diego's Institute for Law and Philosophy.

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