Against Symbolization

9 Pages Posted: 1 Apr 2012

Date Written: March 31, 2012


This paper is a version of a presentation made at the International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Law at the University of Pittsburgh in June of 2011. The paper explores the limits of formal symbolization as a substitute for natural language in a variety of legal contexts, including proposed legal uses of decision theory in trials, whether computer aided or not. It blames Learned Hand’s famous “Hand formula” for negligence for planting the seed of feckless symbolization in the field of law, a seed that subsequently has grown wildly in many areas.

Suggested Citation

Risinger, D. Michael, Against Symbolization (March 31, 2012). Seton Hall Public Law Research Paper No. 2032294, Available at SSRN: or

D. Michael Risinger (Contact Author)

Seton Hall University School of Law ( email )

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Newark, NJ 07102-5210
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