The structure of arguments by analogy in Law

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Successful accounts of analogy in law have two burdens to discharge. First, they must reflect the fact that the conclusion of an argument by analogy is a normative claim about how to decide a certain case (the target case). Second, they must not fail to accord relevance to the fact that the source case was authoritatively decided in a certain way. We argue in the first half of this paper (Sections 2 to 4) that the common view of the structure of analogical arguments in law cannot overcome these hurdles. In the second half (Sections 5 to 7) we develop an original account that aims to succeed where others failed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-393
Number of pages35
Issue number2
Early online date10 Sep 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


  • analogy
  • judicial precedent
  • legal argumentation
  • legal reasoning
  • justification of judicial decisions


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