Artificial Intelligence and Law

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 371–385 | Cite as

From Berman and Hafner’s teleological context to Baude and Sachs’ interpretive defaults: an ontological challenge for the next decades of AI and Law

  • Ronald P. LouiEmail author


This paper revisits the challenge of Berman and Hafner’s “missing link” paper on representing teleological structure in case-based legal reasoning. It is noted that this was mainly an ontological challenge to represent some of what made legal reasoning distinctive, which was given less attention than factual similarity in the dominant AI and Law paradigm, deriving from HYPO. The response to their paper is noted and briefly evaluated. A parallel is drawn to a new challenge to provide deep structure to the legal context of textual meaning, drawing on the forthcoming work of two Constitutional law scholars who appear to place some faith in the ways of thinking that AI and Law has developed.


Challenge problems Deep structure Defeasible reasoning Law of interpretation Legal context Legal reasoning Ontology Practical reasoning Policy reasoning Teleology 



The author thanks Jeff Norman, who contributed several key ideas here, and Trevor Bench-Capon for his many added references and thoughtful edits.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of Illinois SpringfieldSpringfieldUSA

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