Reasoning by Precedent—Between Rules and Analogies

Legal Theory 24 (3):216-254 (2018)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

This paper investigates the process of reasoning through which a judge determines whether a precedent-case gives her a binding reason to follow in her present-case. I review the objections that have been raised against the two main accounts of reasoning by precedent: the rule-account and the analogy-account. I argue that both accounts can be made viable by amending them to meet the objections. Nonetheless, I believe that there is an argument for preferring accounts that integrate analogical reasoning: any account of reasoning by precedent that is descriptively minimally adequate will leave some room for judicial discretion. Discretion should be used under consideration of the best legally relevant arguments for and against a decision. Integrating analogical reasoning helps the judge to bring to her own attention the strongest case for following. Analogical reasoning also eases the recognition of possible reasons for distinguishing. Thereby, it facilitates a more balanced decision-making process.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,139

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Do precedents create rules?Grant Lamond - 2005 - Legal Theory 11 (1):1-26.
Mathematical reasoning: analogies, metaphors, and images.Lyn D. English (ed.) - 1997 - Mahwah, N.J.: L. Erlbaum Associates.
A factor-based definition of precedential constraint.John F. Horty & Trevor J. M. Bench-Capon - 2012 - Artificial Intelligence and Law 20 (2):181-214.
A handbook for scriptural reasoning.Steven Kepnes - 2006 - Modern Theology 22 (3):367-383.
Isolating Correct Reasoning.Alex Worsnip - forthcoming - In Magdalena Balcerak Jackson & Brendan Balcerak Jackson (eds.), Reasoning: New Essays on Theoretical and Practical Thinking. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Similarity, precedent and argument from analogy.Douglas Walton - 2010 - Artificial Intelligence and Law 18 (3):217-246.
The rules versus similarity distinction.Emmanuel M. Pothos - 2005 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (1):1-14.

Analytics

Added to PP
2018-10-06

Downloads
73 (#216,499)

6 months
13 (#158,624)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Katharina Stevens
University of Lethbridge

Citations of this work

Max Weber and Social Ontology.Joshua Rust - 2021 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 51 (3):312-342.
Moral Consistency Reasoning Reconsidered.Norbert Paulo - 2020 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 23 (1):107-123.
Case-to-Case Arguments.Katharina Stevens - 2018 - Argumentation 32 (3):431-455.

View all 11 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

Authority, Law and Morality.Joseph Raz - 1985 - The Monist 68 (3):295-324.
Argument by Analogy.André Juthe - 2005 - Argumentation 19 (1):1-27.
A factor-based definition of precedential constraint.John F. Horty & Trevor J. M. Bench-Capon - 2012 - Artificial Intelligence and Law 20 (2):181-214.

View all 15 references / Add more references