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Vol 21 No 11 Nov/Dec 2016

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The Tapestry of Reason: An Inquiry into the Nature of Coherence and its Role in Legal Argument


ISBN13: 9781849460705
Published: March 2015
Publisher: Hart Publishing
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £75.00



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In recent years coherence theories of law and adjudication have been extremely influential in legal scholarship. These theories significantly advance the case for coherentism in law. Nonetheless, in the field of coherence theory in law a number of problems remain.

This ambitious new work makes the first concerted attempt to develop a coherence-based theory of legal reasoning, and in so doing addresses, or at least mitigates these problems.

The book is organized in three parts. The first part provides a critical analysis of the main coherentist approaches to both normative and factual reasoning in law. The second part investigates coherence theory in a number of fields that are relevant to law: coherence theories of epistemic justification, coherentist approaches to belief revision and theory-choice, coherence theories of practical and moral reasoning, and coherence-based approaches to discourse interpretation.

Taking this interdisciplinary analysis as a starting point, the third part develops a coherence-based model of legal reasoning. While this model builds upon the standard theory of legal reasoning, it also leads to rethinking some of the basic assumptions that characterize this theory, and suggests some lines along which it may be further developed.

Thus, ultimately, the book not only improves upon the current state of coherence theory in law, but also contributes to the larger debate about how to articulate a theory of legal reasoning that results in better decision-making.

Subjects:
Jurisprudence
Contents:
PART I. LEGAL COHERENTISM
1. Normative Coherence, Justification and Interpretation
2. Coherence, Evidence and Proof

PART II. INTERDISCIPLINARY PERSPECTIVES
3. Coherence, Knowledge and Justification
4. Explanatory Coherentism
5. Coherence and Belief Dynamics
6. Is Coherence Truth-Conducive?
7. Practical Coherence
8. Beyond Reflective Equilibrium
9. Discourse Coherence

PART III. COHERENCE AND REASON IN LAW
10. A Coherence Theory of Legal Reasoning