1st Edition

Reasoning in Ethics and Law The Role of Theory Principles and Facts

    224 Pages
    by Routledge

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    Legal and moral reasoning share much methodology, and they address similar problems. This volume charts two shared problems: the relation between theory, principles and particular judgments; and the role of facts and factual assertions in normative settings. The relation between 'theory' and 'practice' and between 'principle' and 'particular judgment' has become the subject of much debate in moral philosophy. In the ongoing debate, some moral philosophers refer to legal philosophy for a support of their views on the primacy of 'practice' over 'theory'. According to them, legal philosophy should have a more balanced view in that relation. In the contributions to Part One this claim is critically analysed. The role of the facts is underestimated in discussions on legal reasoning and legal theory, as well as moral reasoning and ethical theory. Factual statements enter into moral and legal discussions not only because they link the conclusion with a rule. They also play a role as background assumptions in supporting a theory. Its focus on the role of facts in normative reasoning makes this book of special interest to scholars of legal and moral argumentation.

    Contents: Introduction: Theory, Principle, Judgment: General and particular considerations in applied ethics; Guidance by moral rules, guidance by moral precedents; Set a sprat to catch a whale: the structure, strength and function of analogical inferences; The reconstruction of legal analogy-argumentation monological and dialogical approaches. Facts, Judgements, Theories: The role of facts in legal reasoning; Parallels between science and ethics; What is truth?: incest and narrative coherence in law; Empirical science and ethical theory: the case of informed consent; Index.


    Albert W. Musschenga, Wim J. van der Steen