Artificial Intelligence and Law

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 423–449 | Cite as

Baseballs and arguments from fairness



This paper applies two argumentation schemes, argument from fairness and argument from lack of knowledge (along with other schemes of lesser prominence) to model the reasoning given by Judge McCarthy supporting his decision to divide the proceeds of a homerun baseball in the case of Popov v. Hayashi. Several versions of both schemes are explained and discussed, and then applied to the argumentation given by Judge McCarthy as the basis of the reasoning used to arrive at his decision. The scheme for argument from fairness is shown to be based on a special principle in Perelman’s theory of justice.


Justice Argument maps Argumentation schemes 



The author would like to thank the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for an Insight Grant that supported the work in this paper, and to thank Tom Gordon for many helpful comments and criticisms that enabled many corrections and improvements to be made.


  1. Atkinson K (2012) Introduction to special issue on Modelling Popov v. Hayashi. Artif Intell Law 20(10):1–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bench-Capon TJM (2003) Persuasion in practical argument using value-based argumentation frameworks. J Log Comput 13(3):429–448MathSciNetCrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  3. Bench-Capon TJM (2012) Representing Popov v. Hayashi with dimensions and factors. Artif Intell Law 20:15–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bench-Capon TJM, Prakken H (2010) Using argument schemes for hypothetical reasoning in law. Artif Intell Law 18:153–174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Collins A, Warnock EH, Aiello N, Miller M (1975) Reasoning from incomplete knowledge. In: Bobrow D, Collins A (eds) Representation and understanding: studies in cognitive science. Academic Press, New York, pp 383–415CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Gordon TF (2010) The Carneades argumentation support system. In: Reed C, Tindale CW (eds) Dialectics, dialogue and argumentation. College Publications, LondonGoogle Scholar
  7. Gordon TF, Walton D (2006) The Carneades argumentation framework: using presumptions and exceptions to model critical questions. In: Dunne PE, Bench-Capon TJM (eds) Computational Models of Argument: proceedings of COMMA 2006. IOS Press, Amsterdam, pp 195–207Google Scholar
  8. Gordon TF, Walton D (2009) Proof burdens and standards. In: Rahwan I, Simari G (eds) Argumentation and artificial intelligence. Springer, Berlin, pp 239–260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gordon TF, Walton D (2012) A Carneades reconstruction of Popov v Hayashi. Artif Intell Law 20(1):37–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hansen H, Walton D (2013) Kinds of arguments used in the Ontario Provincial election, 2011. Argum Context 2(2):226–258Google Scholar
  11. Hastings AC (1963) A reformulation of the modes of reasoning in argumentation. Evanston, Illinois. Ph.D. DissertationGoogle Scholar
  12. Helmholtz L (1983) Equitable division and the law of finders. Fordham Law Rev 52(3):313–328Google Scholar
  13. Kienpointner M (1992) Alltagslogik: Struktur und Funktion von Argumentationsmustern. Fromman-Holzboog, StuttgartGoogle Scholar
  14. McCarthy KM (2002) Statement of decision. Superior Court of California, December 12, 2002, Case of Popov v. Hayahsi #4005545:
  15. Perelman C (1980) Justice, law and argument. Reidel, DordrechtCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Perelman C (1982) The realm of rhetoric. University of Notre Dame Press, Notre DameGoogle Scholar
  17. Perelman C, Olbrechts-Tyteca L (1969) The new rhetoric. University of Notre Dame Press, Notre DameGoogle Scholar
  18. Pollock JL (1995) Cognitive carpentry. The MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.Google Scholar
  19. Prakken H, Sartor G (2009) A logical analysis of burdens of proof. In: Hendrik Kaptein, Henry Prakken, Bart Verheij (eds) Legal evidence and Burden of proof. Ashgate, Farnham, pp 223–253Google Scholar
  20. Prakken H, Sartor G (2011) On Modelling Burdens and Standards of Proof in Structured Argumentation. In: Atkinson KD (ed) Legal Knowledge and Information Systems. JURIX 2011: the twenty-fourth annual conference. IOS Press, Amsterdam, pp 83–92Google Scholar
  21. Reiter R (1980) A logic for default reasoning. Artif Intell 13:81–132MathSciNetCrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  22. Verheij B (2001) Legal decision making as dialectical theory construction with argumentation schemes. In: The 8th international conference on artificial intelligence and law: proceedings of the conference, New York Association for Computing Machinery, pp 225–236.
  23. Walton D (1996a) Argumentation schemes for presumptive reasoning. Lawrence Erlbaum, Mahwah, NJGoogle Scholar
  24. Walton D (1996b) Arguments from ignorance. The Pennsylvania State University Press, University ParkGoogle Scholar
  25. Walton D (2002) Are some Modus Ponens arguments deductively invalid? Inf Log 22:19–46Google Scholar
  26. Walton D (2010) Why fallacies appear to be better arguments than they are. Inf Log 30(2):159–184Google Scholar
  27. Walton D (2014) Burden of proof, presumption and argumentation. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (to appear)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Walton D, Hansen H (2012) Arguments from fairness and misplaced priorities in political argumentation. J Polit Law 6(3):78–94Google Scholar
  29. Walton D, Hansen HV (2013) Arguments from fairness and misplaced priorities in political argumentation. J Polit Law 6(3):78–94Google Scholar
  30. Walton D, Reed C (2003) Diagramming, argumentation schemes and critical questions. In: van Eemeren FH et al (eds) Anyone who has a view: theoretical contributions to the study of argumentation. Kluwer, Dordrecht, pp 195–211CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Walton D, Reed C, Macagno F (2008) Argumentation schemes. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Wyner A, Bench-Capon T, Atkinson K (2007) Arguments, values and baseballs: representation of Popov v. Hayahsi. In: JURIX 2007: the twentieth international conference. IOS Press, Amsterdam, pp 151–160Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Research in Reasoning, Argumentation and Rhetoric (CRRAR)University of WindsorWindsorCanada

Personalised recommendations