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Arguments and Stories in Legal Reasoning: The Case of Evidence Law

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We argue that legal argumentation, as the subject matter as well as a special subfield of Argumentation Studies (AS), has to be examined by making skilled use of the full panoply of tools such as argumentation and story schemes which are at the forefront of current work in AS. In reviewing the literature, we make explicit our own methodological choices (particularly regarding the place of normative deliberation in practical reasoning) and then illustrate the implications of such an approach through the analysis of a case study in the English law of evidence. We argue that a clear distinction must be drawn between practical argumentation and stories. Because of the institutional separation between legal judgment and fact-finding in common-law jury trials, we argue for the combination of argument and story-based analysis.
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Keywords: ARGUMENTATION SCHEMES; ARGUMENTATION STUDIES; EVIDENTIAL ARGUMENTATION; EXPERT EVIDENCE; LEGAL REASONING; NARRATIVE COHERENCE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2020

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  • Archiv für Rechts- und Sozialphilosophie, edited by authorisation of the International Association for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy (IVR), is an international, peer-reviewed journal, first published in 1907. It features original articles on philosophical research on legal and social questions, covering all aspects of social and legal life.
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