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2014

Journal Articles

Litigation

Legal reasoning

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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Law Is Made Of Stories: Erasing The False Dichotomy Between Stories And Legal Rules, Stephen Paskey Oct 2014

The Law Is Made Of Stories: Erasing The False Dichotomy Between Stories And Legal Rules, Stephen Paskey

Journal Articles

When lawyers think of legal analysis, they think chiefly of logic and reason. Stories are secondary. As Michael Smith explains, our legal system “is not founded on narrative reasoning” but on “a commitment to the rule of law.” The article suggests that this dichotomy between “rule-based reasoning” and “narrative reasoning” is false, and that narrative and stories are central to legal reasoning, including rule-based reasoning. In doing so, the article uses literary narrative theory to show that every governing legal rule has the structure of a “stock story”: the elements of the rule correspond to elements of a story. It ...