Rules, judgment and mechanisation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This paper is a philosophical exploration of the notion of judgment, a mode of reasoning that has a central role in legal practice as it currently stands. The first part considers the distinction proposed by Kant, and recently explored historically by Lorraine Daston, between the capacity to follow and execute rules and the capacity to determine whether a general rule applies to a particular situation (that is, judgment). This characterisation of judgment is compared with one proposed by Brian Cantwell Smith, as part of an argument that current AI technologies do not have judgment. The second part of the paper asks whether digital computers could in principle have judgment and concludes with a negative answer.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cross-disciplinary Research in Computational Law (CRCL)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 9 Feb 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • philosophy of AI
  • cognitivism
  • legal judgment
  • automation
  • history of AI


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