Defeasible Legal Argumentation
Forthcoming in Bongiovanni, G., Postema, G., Rotolo, A., Sartor, G., Valentini, C., and Walton, D. (2018). Handbook of Legal Reasoning and Argumentation. Springer.
49 Pages Posted: 14 Mar 2019
Date Written: June 19, 2018
This paper provides an analysis of defeasible legal reasoning as argumentation. It first gives a general account of the idea of defeasibility and introduces the idea of nonmonotonic reasoning. It then focuses on defeasible argumentation, considering how defeasible arguments can be constructed and how they can be defeated by rebutting and undercutting counterarguments. The dialectical interactions of defeasible arguments are further explored, focusing on reinstatement and reasoning about priorities. The idea of legal systems as the basis for argumentation frameworks is then investigated. The ways in which defeasibility has been understood in legal theory is finally addressed.
Keywords: Defeasibility, legal argument, nonmonotonic logic, legal reasoning
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