Jusletter IT

Epistemic models for justification and law

  • Autor/Autorin: Alessandro Serpe
  • Kategorie: Kurzbeiträge
  • Region: Italien
  • Rechtsgebiete: Rechtstheorie
  • Sammlung: Q-Justice 2011
  • Zitiervorschlag: Alessandro Serpe, Epistemic models for justification and law, in: Jusletter IT 29. Juni 2011
The whole epistemological enterprise is thought to be reduced to strict dichotomies of foundationalism versus coherentism. Is this rivalry tenable? In the first part, the paper practices such a distinction with particular reference to theories of law and, by taking the figure of the idealized judge drawn by Dworkin, Hercules, into special account, sketches out some common features of coherence legal theories. In the second part, the paper explores the very general idea of defeasible reasoning as a related avenue of investigation that corresponds to the various difficulties to which foundational and coherence legal theories are exposed.


  • 1. The epistemic model of foundationalism
  • 1.1. Examples of foundationalist theories
  • 2. The epistemic model of coherentism
  • 2.1. Examples of coherent theories
  • 3. Foundationalism vs. coherentism: a familiar rivalry?
  • 4. Foundationalism and natural law theories
  • 5. Coherence and coherence theories of law
  • 6. Coherence and the monstrum
  • 6.1. Coherence, the monstrum and the law
  • 7. Defeasibility and knowledge of law
  • 7.1. Defeasibility and adjudication of law
  • 7.2. Defeasibility and coherence. What is there left?

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