Logic, Arguments, Legal Reasoning
October 16, 2012 7:51 PM   Subscribe

Hi there, Can anyone recommend me materials (books or online resources) on logic which is pertinent to/useful for legal reasoning?

I'm taking a legal methods and legal systems module as part of my law degree in the UK and stumbled across concepts on different types of reasonings; however, my book doesn't really elaborate very much
[only two chapters are dedicated to it:
1.) Introduction To Law and Legal Reasoning,
2.) Plain Meanings, Mischiefs, Purposes and Legislative Intention
3.) Modern Statutory Interpretation in Practice ]

Ideally, I'd like something of any level from undergraduate to graduate, which can supplement my studies in law nicely. Something that helps in the crafting as well as understanding of arguments but with a legal backdrop to it if possible ( I'm open to alternative suggestions as well)

Thanks very much =)
posted by thespiritroom to Education (5 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
A Rulebook for Arguments by Anthony Weston is a slim, inexpensive book with a basic and very readable introduction to informal logic and composing argumentative essays. It's aimed at undergraduate philosophy students, but usable for a wide range of writing.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:10 PM on October 16, 2012 [2 favorites]

Depending on exactly what you want, you might also look into How to Do Things with Rules by Twining and Miers.
posted by Logophiliac at 9:22 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

IANAL, but a philosophy and math student who likes browsing the law library every now and then for logic/critical reasoning books from lawyer's perspectives. The major book that I keep coming back to is Analysis of Evidence by Anderson et. al. For me, this book was like applied epistemology. How to gather facts, how to analyse and evaluate evidence, how to assess stories and narratives. This book is more concrete than a lot of other books I found, and has a ton of practice problems.

For non-legal books, Chapter 18 of Understanding Arguments: An Introduction to Informal Logic by Fogelin and Sinnott-Armstrong also covers legal reasoning.
posted by ollyollyoxenfree at 3:05 AM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

As a first year law student, I was taught An Introduction to Legal Reasoning, by former Attorney General Edward Levi. I found it similar, in some respects, to The Structure of Scientific Revolutions which I had studied extensively as an undergraduate. Both are dated (as am I) but I think they are both masterpieces.
posted by Sculthorpe at 11:09 AM on October 17, 2012

I used to love the now-defunct podcast LSAT Logic in Everyday Life. (iTunes link.) It's all about legal reasoning and learning how to separate that from emotional or social reasoning. The episodes themselves are pretty short, and it's definitely on the beginner side of things, but it's also smart and engaging and occasionally humorous.
posted by Charity Garfein at 2:20 AM on October 18, 2012

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