Law and Logic

A Critical Account of Legal Argument

  • Authors
  • Joseph Horovitz

Part of the Library of Exact Philosophy book series (LEP, volume 8)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XV
  2. General Introduction

    1. Joseph Horovitz
      Pages 1-15
  3. The German Discussion

    1. Joseph Horovitz
      Pages 18-52
    2. Joseph Horovitz
      Pages 65-82
  4. The Belgian Discussion

    1. Joseph Horovitz
      Pages 83-133
  5. The Discussion in the English-Speaking Countries

    1. Joseph Horovitz
      Pages 134-195
  6. General Conclusion

    1. Joseph Horovitz
      Pages 196-198
    2. Joseph Horovitz
      Pages 214-214
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 199-213

About this book


This book has two related aims: to investigate the frequently voiced claim that legal argument is nonformal in nature and, within the limits of such an investigation, to ascertain the most general proper­ ties of law as a rational system. Examination of a number of views of legal argument, selected from recent discussions in Germany, Belgium, and the English-speaking countries, will lead to the follow­ ing main conclusions. The nonformalistic conceptions of the logic of legal argument are ambiguous and unclear. Moreover, insofar as these conceptions are capable of clarification in the light of recent analytical methodology, they can be seen to be either mistaken or else compatible with the formalistic position. Because law is socially directive and coordinative, it is dependent upon theoretical psycho­ sociology and calls, in principle, for a deontic and inductive logic. The primary function of legal argument is to provide continuing reinterpretation and confirmation of legal rules, conceived as theo­ retical prescriptions. On the basis of this conception, the old juris­ prudential conflict between formalism and rule-scepticism appears substantially resolved. Aristotle, the founder of the theory of argument, conceived it as "the science of establishing conclusions" (bnO'l;~fl'YJ &no~e!"u,,~), designed to guide people in rational argumentation. In time, how­ ever, logic forsook its practical function and developed as a highly abstract and disinterested study, today called "formal logic"; and the theory of practical argument was either neglected or relegated to an appendix to rhetoric.


Hart Law Natur interpretation legal logic

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag Vienna 1972
  • Publisher Name Springer, Vienna
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-3-211-81066-8
  • Online ISBN 978-3-7091-7111-0
  • Series Print ISSN 0075-9104
  • Buy this book on publisher's site