Legal reasoning is about various factors and has various components attached
to it. This concept is of thinking which the learners and researchers should use
in order to reach a legal conclusion and make further decisions. When we talk
about co relation in between law and society, we understand the social control
perspective, it happens because law enables to provide solution to conflicts
that may arise by setting precedents in past, present and future.
It has been very long history that has given us the opportunity to formulate
logical reasoning in law. Legal procedure, history and its binding ability can
resolve conflicts in the society and further direct current activity while
maintaining continuity with the past, and to control the future by laying down
procedures, approaches and theories.
Decision are guided and followed by a logical reasoning which takes into account
the past decisions and statutes, the present position of the parties to the
cases, and its own impact on future activity. The ability of open interpretation
with boundaries help the learner and researches to reach a legal conclusion.
- To introduce the concept of legal reasoning and its importance.
- To understand the basic components in legal reasoning.
- To understand the role of logical reasoning in law
- To know about the various types of legal reasoning methods in terms of
kinds of arguments.
- To focus on deductive method of research.
- To understand the Steps of deductive method
- To understand the merits and de merits of deductive method
Basic Components In Legal Reasoning
The four pillars of legal reasoning are "Legal Process Logic", "Justice",
"Experience" and "Policies".
- Legal process logic lays on the principle of consistency and equal
application of law. The science that involves forming legal conclusion can
never be as simple as right and wrong it inherits the correct application of
precedents and equal application of law.
- The principle justice is the sword that slays and ensure the to do right
between the parties. The concept of justice revolves around the
philosophical thought of justice based on evidence.
- Experience teaches the most integral component of legal reasoning. The
practice of law is about experience and through experience we understand the
logic. It is the tool that empowers the user to understand come to legal
conclusion of legal judgments.
- The term policy is used to describe the process of approaching a
conflict as well as a solution. It is the give and take of the scientific
attempt to see into future and understand the consequences and impacts. It
is emphasizing on the individual to put aside die current interests of the
parties and to keep in mind how this decision would affect other persons in
Logical Reasoning Types And Principles
When we look at all the four components, the logical thinking is the core which
creates the concept of legal reasoning similar to scientific generalizations are
based on logical explanations. Every science is based on the principles of logic
or reason. Science involves die rules of reasoning or use of arguments.
Arguments are made on the basis of connection, relationship, association,
property, common variable or attribute between things and activities mentioned
in the argument.
Scientific method of research emphasizes and works on the principle of
induction. It is the process which involves the reasoning from particular cases
to whole group of cases, from specific instances of the concerning law. It can
also be called the historical or empirical or a posteriori method. It can be
also said that it is a practical ideology to legal work, study and research
problems. It is that bridge which covers the gap in between theoretical and
It ignites the chain reaction between the causes and further
establishes the relation in between them. It is a collective of instances and
facts also known as raw data of experience, that is the reason it is called as
empirical. The data is can be of various field and background such as
statistics, historical records, etc. as long as it related.
From the title we understand that this method is about deduction of conclusions,
assumptions and both of them collectively. It is process that gives reasoning
and its principle varies from general to particular hence makes the base
broader. It provides the premise because its vast reasoning. It has other
components such as analytical, abstract and a priori method. What the abstract
method indicates is the ideology and the approach for the study. It is the
rational approach qualifies it as scientific. It is basically a rational
approach in accordance with the tenets of deductive logic. It is the logic that
uses a general statement as the basis of argument.
If we focus on syllogism of this method, it's major components consists a major
premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion.
A major premise is the principle that states a general rule. During the legal
research this premise state generally a statement of law. A minor premise the
part which makes a factual statement of the facts of the research. During the
legal research and arguments, this premise states the statement of fact. The
role of conclusion is to make a connect the major and minor premise through a
statement and hence the relation establish further provides a general rule that
applies to the facts and during the legal research it can be said that it is the
Step of instating the law to the facts.
Example: to qualify as a victim of rape under criminal law there must be:
When the truth of the premise follows:
- Sexual intercourse with a woman
- The intercourse must be without her will" (Major premise; states a rule
of law). Here, the woman had consensual sex. (Minor premise; makes a
statement of fact.) Therefore, the plaintiff cannot be a "victim" of rap
under criminal law. (Conclusion; correctly applies the law to the facts.)
In order for a syllogism to be valid, it must be logically impossible for its
premises to be true and its conclusion to be false. In other words, a syllogism
is valid if, given the truth of its premises, the conclusion "follows" logically
such that it, too, must be true. An argument is not valid simply because its
premises and conclusion are all true.
All teachers are human. Some human are excellent racers.
Therefore, some teachers are excellent racers.
During the research the study of the causal factors of the delinquencies have
some general anticipatory idea which enables the researcher guides them to
observe on the specific facts which is relevant to their inquiry. It is not
necessary that the implications are clear then in those cases the observation
helps them user to formulate certain single propositions leading to clearing out
irrelevance. That is, they deduce from die complexities of observed behaviour
certain single ideas. In other words, they use a process of reasoning about the
whole observed situations in order to arrive at a particular idea. This process
of reasoning is called deduction or deductive reasoning.
The following example can be cited for the deductive reasoning:
Lombroso, an Italian, observed peculiar physical features among the criminals
and by using the logical deductive thinking formulated the following
propositions by taking his observations into consideration:
Deduction is logical reasoning and if we start with good premises, deduction can
serve scientific research in three ways:
- Criminals are by birth a distinct type of persons
- They can be recognized by stigma or anomalies such as a symmetrical
cranium, long lower jaw, flattened nose, scanty beard and low sensitivity to
- These physical anomalies identify the personality which is predisposed
- Such persons cannot refrain from committing crime unless the
circumstances of life are generally favoured.
- Deduction enables to detect the questionable assumptions logically and
it is involved in what is believed to be the truth and it multiplies the
number of available hypothesis by formulating the possible alternatives.
- The logical deduction of its consequences makes clear the meaning of any
- The process of rigorous deduction is an aid in the attempt to steer
clear of irrelevancies and thus the right principle is found.
Steps In The Deductive Method
In this Step the problem is explored and it preliminary to any investigation. It
states the existence of a definite problem in the mind of the researcher. The
problem should hold significance in the factual world.
In this Step the hypothesis from the assumption which are made are selected
which can lead to the final conclusion from the research. It is important the
selection and the relevant assumptions are taken into account from the
observation. This Step bridges the gap of assumptions and facts. The final
results from this Step is; conjuncture, a hunch, of the possible connection
between two phenomena.
Theoretical development of the formulated hypothesis has been taken together
with the implications and should be carefully studied to further result into a
theory. We understand the consequences and implications are deduced from the
The explanandum and explanans are the two parts of this Step.
The explanandum is the part which enables the user to reach to conclusion of the
deductive argument of the issue at hand which may be pertaining of anything. It
might be singular or multiple which can always vary.
The explanans (premise) explain the explanandum (conclusion). The explanandum is
deduced from the explanans. The deductive explanation has a valid argument
because it takes the form of conditional argument, affirming die antecedent
which is a valid form of inference.
The final Step of this process is the verification of theories.
Merits And Demerits Of Deductive MethodMerits
- Powerful: "Deductive explanation is very powerful because it makes use
of a valid form of deductive argument where the explanandum must be true if
the explanans are true."
- Simple method: "From a few basic facts of human nature, a number of
inferences can be drawn by logical reasoning."
- Substitute for experimentation: "It is not possible for the investigator
to conduct controlled experiments with the legal phenomena in a laboratory.
He can, therefore, fall back upon deductive reasoning."
- Actual and exact: "The deductive method lends for the generalizations
which are accurate and exact."
- The diversity and complexity of brain poses the trouble for part of the
population whose logic and reasoning might not be very strong hence not
everyone can be successful in using this method. This is further growing
with time and even after experience it may not be definite that the
conclusion reached is applicable in the scenario.
- It is also interpreted that there is a danger of building inapplicable
models. If the user confines to only abstraction. Then this model may have
the elegance and be logically sound but still can be distinct from the
- It is important to understand the conditions because deductive reasoning
are valid only under right assumed conditions. It is important for
assumptions to be valid.
- Despite the vast base and assumptions this method might not be
applicable to all the scenarios and cases. Hence it may be applicable to
some but not all the studies.
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