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On Balancing and Subsumption. A Structural Comparison

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The formal structure of subsumption may be represented in a deductive scheme, which one might call the “Subsumption Formula.” The author argues that there is an analogous scheme for the formal structure of balancing or weighing, which he terms the “Weight Formula.” In short, subsumption and balancing have comparable schemata, through which the formal structure of a set of premisses, which warrant the inference to a legal result, can be identified. The relation in the two cases between these premisses and the ensuing legal result is, however, different. The Subsumption Formula is represented by a scheme that works according to the rules of logic, the Weight Formula, by a scheme that works according to the rules of arithmetic. In spite of this difference, the two formulae are alike in that judgments, in both cases, remain the basis of the argument.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Christian Albrechts University, Faculty of Law, Olshausenstra├če 40, D-24118 Kiel, Germany , Email:

Publication date: 2003-12-01

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