Mgr Michał Sopiński
University of Warsaw
Abstract: This paper traces, examines, and demonstrates Neil MacCormick’s theory of legal reasoning and its evolution. MacCormick’s views were shaped gradually so his theory could be divided into two main stages. Therefore, the use of the diachronic approach is justified. The aim of this paper is to analyse the difference between the theses of the theory of legal reasoning explained in Legal Reasoning and Legal Theory (1978) and general revisions to this theory marked in Rhetoric and the Rule of Law (2005). According to the author, the most important change in MacCormick’s theory of legal reasoning is an examination of the role of deductive reasoning in the process of judicial reasoning. This change leads to an extension of the logical aspects of MacCormick’s theory of legal reasoning (legal syllogism) to include rhetorical aspects (argumentative character of law) and ethical aspects (the idea of the rule of law). The evolution of the MacCormick’s theory of legal reasoning seems to be a model example of the changes in contemporary philosophy of law.
Keywords: legal reasoning, MacCormick, legal syllogism, rhetoric, rule of law
Language: Original printed in Polish, English online translation
Published: Number 1(19)/2019, pp. 63-78
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