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Rethinking Legal Reasoning

Geoffrey Samuel

‘Rethinking’ legal reasoning seems a bold aim given the large amount of literature devoted to this topic. In this thought-provoking book, Geoffrey Samuel proposes a different way of approaching legal reasoning by examining the topic through the context of legal knowledge (epistemology). What is it to have knowledge of legal reasoning?
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Geoffrey Samuel

This present work is intended both to complement my already published A Short Introduction to Judging and to Legal Reasoning (Edward Elgar, 2016) and to be an independent work in itself. The structures of the two books are different, although they share certain topics and approaches; however, some topics dealt with in the 2016 book are not covered in this present work (and vice versa). Many of the chapters in this book have already seen the light of day, either as journal articles or as contributions to edited works. But they have all been adapted and modified, to a greater or lesser extent, so as to provide a coherent structure to this rethinking book. One great advantage of having previously published chapters is that they have greatly benefitted from the refereeing process. I would accordingly like to thank those anonymous referees and editors whose observations and criticisms proved so helpful. ‘Rethinking’ seems a bold aim (and a little arrogant) and so perhaps the expression should be understood, at least with regard to this present book, as just a different way of approaching legal reasoning. What the book hopes to achieve is set out in more depth in the ‘General introduction’. Finally, I must also acknowledge and thank Maks Del Mar, Pierre Legrand, Horatia Muir Watt, Franz Werro, Pascal Pichonnaz, Whyeda Gill-McLure and others who have been so encouraging with respect to my work on legal reasoning and epistemology.

Geoffrey Samuel

Kent Law School

January 2018