Theoretical Foundations of Legal Reasoning

An advanced course in analytic jurisprudence, investigating the nature of legal reasoning. Frederick Schauer’s accessible and engaging recent book, Thinking Like a Lawyer is the core text for this course. The course will follow the structure of Schauer’s book in examining (by means of close attention to actual legal cases), by turn, the nature of rules, precedent, authority, analogical reasoning, the common law, legal realism, statutory interpretation, judicial opinions, legal facts, and the burden of proof. The overarching question to be addressed in this course is: In what way(s), if at all, is legal reasoning a distinctive form of reasoning?

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