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How Judges Reason

The Logic of Adjudication

Joel Levin

Legal rules ought to work themselves out, with unique or difficult cases becoming fewer, and the inconsistencies in the system disappearing as they are confronted. Instead, legal doctrine and the role of judges has become more difficult and often more controversial. This book offers a general explanation why, and in so doing, analyzes how individuals reason when they behave as judges. Drawing on ideas from philosophical logic, game theory, philosophy of mind, truth theory, and jurisprudence, the author develops a theory of judicial pluralism which suggests that judicial truth is individually objective but societally personal, pluralistic and idiosyncratic.
Contents: The work provides a structure for judicial decision-making in the context of the judicial role, analyzes and critiques judicial skepticism, positivism, and rights theory, sets out a theory of judicial pluralism, discusses reasoning by analogy, and looks at the political consequences of pluralistic adjudication.