Session 1.1.1

Introduction: what logic is and why it matters for the law (Scott Brewer and Giovanni Sartor)

Monday, 16 July, first morning session: 9h-10h30

Themes introduced in this session:

  1. The basic concept of logic as logic as evidentiary support; the four modes of logical inference (deduction, induction, analogy, inference to the best explanation), , logic as a tool for representing non-formal legal arguments and legal rules (the concept of the enthymeme, the distinction of rule-enthymemes from argument-enthymemes
  2. Deontics: distinction between permission and power
  3. Defeasibility in factual and in normative reasoning, dealing with novel circumstances in law: defeasible reasoning vs. belief revision
  4. Paradoxes and legal regulation: the barber paradox (normal and legal version), Proatagoras-Euathlus, State v. Jones, lex falcidia


  • Scott Brewer, Introduction to basic concepts for the study of logic in legal argument (link)


  • Law and logic. Ch. 1 Logic and the law (link)
  • Protagoras-Euathlus, modern and original versions. Leibniz’s version (from Artosi, A., Pieri, B., and Sartor, G. (2012, In publication). Leibniz: Logico-Philosophical Puzzles in the Law. Philosophical Questions and Perplexing Cases in the Law (link)


  • Monge v Beebe Rubber Company (link)
  • State v Jones (link)

Optional readings:

  • Sainsbury, M. (2001). Logical Forms: An Introduction to Philosophical Logic. Blackwell, Oxford. Ch 1
  • Pollock, J.L. Logic: An Introduction to the Formal Study of Reasoning, Ch 1 (link)
  • Brewer, On the Possibility of Necessity in Legal Argument (link)

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