Coherence and systematization in law

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Abstract / Description of output

This chapter examines coherentist approaches to the justification of normative judgments in law. First, it provides a survey of the main approaches to normative coherence defended in the literature on legal coherentism and discusses the principal objections that threaten to undermine the coherence theory of legal justification. One problem with coherentism, namely the problem of the coherence bias, has not, however, received enough attention in the literature. This chapter states this problem in detail and argues that a modified version of legal coherentism—namely virtue coherentism—has the resources to address this problem. The chapter then engages in a second-order debate about the relevance of coherence in justification by inquiring into the reasons why coherence is worth pursuing when reasoning in law. Finally, this chapter concludes by assessing the value and limits of coherentist reasoning in the legal domain.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Legal Reasoning and Argumentation
EditorsGiorgio Bongiovanni, Gerald Postema, Antonino Rotolo, Giovanni Sartor, Chiara Valentini, Douglas Walton
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages36
ISBN (Electronic)9789048194520
ISBN (Print)9789048194513
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2018


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