Originally published in 1968. This is a critical study of the concept of ‘rule’ featuring in law, ethics and much philosophical analysis which the author uses to investigate the concept of ‘rationality’. The author indicates in what manner the modes of reasoning involved in reliance upon rules are unique and in what fashion they provide an alternative both to the modes of logico-mathematical reasoning and to the modes of scientific reasoning. This prepares the groundwork for a methodology meeting the requirements of the fields using rules such as law and ethics which could be significant for communications theory and the use of computers in normative fields. Other substantive issues related to the mainstream of legal philosophy are discussed - theories of interpretation, the notion of purpose and the requirements of principled decision-making. The book utilizes examples drawn from English and American legal decisions to suggest how the positions of legal positivism and of natural law are equally artificial and misleading.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. Some Notions of Rationality and Law 3. The Logic of Reasoning with Rules 4. The Facts 5. Reasoning with Rules: Some Other Necessary Ingredients 6. Precedent 7. The Interpretation of Rules 8. The Role of Purpose 9. Law and the Conflict Between Law and Morality 10. Principled Choice and Competing Interests 11. Conclusion