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Dual-Process Cognition and Legal Reasoning


Anna Ronkainen


Onomatics, Inc.; University of Helsinki, Department of Modern Languages

September 9, 2011

ARGUMENTATION 2011: INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF ARGUMENTATION IN LAW, pp. 1-32, Michał Araszkiewicz et al, eds., Masaryk University, Brno, 2011

Abstract:     
The dual-process framework is a set of theories on human cognition in which cognition is seen as consisting of (at least) two substantially different yet interdependent systems: the older, faster, partly unconscious and automatic System 1 and the newer, slower, fully conscious and considered System 2. When viewing legal reasoning through the dual-process model, we can easily see that System 1 is primarily responsible for deciding a case (or finding the best line of arguments in support of a party) with the help of aligning the particulars of the case with the preexisting framework of statute and case law, whereas System 2 is responsible for generating and evaluating arguments in support of the outcome determined by System 1, thereby opening up an individual’s reasoning process for external critique. System 2 may also override System 1 altogether, but this is only possible in easy cases. In part thanks to the dual-process framework we can take a scientific look into the often discussed but substantially neglected question of Right Answers in law through empirically testable hypotheses. This also has significant implications for artificial intelligence and law. By acknowledging the differences between the two, we can better use the most suitable computational models for each of them individually.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 32

Keywords: legal reasoning, legal decision-making, justification, dual process theory

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Date posted: February 14, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Ronkainen, Anna, Dual-Process Cognition and Legal Reasoning (September 9, 2011). ARGUMENTATION 2011: INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF ARGUMENTATION IN LAW, pp. 1-32, Michał Araszkiewicz et al, eds., Masaryk University, Brno, 2011. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2004336

Contact Information

Anna Ronkainen (Contact Author)
Onomatics, Inc. ( email )
Vuorikatu 14 A
Helsinki, 00100
Finland
HOME PAGE: http://blog.trademarknow.com/
University of Helsinki, Department of Modern Languages ( email )
University of Helsinki
Helsinki, FIN-00014
Finland
HOME PAGE: http://www.legalfuturology.com/
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