Taking the Jurisprudential Analogy Seriously

David Zarefsky*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Both Stephen Toulmin and Chaim Perelman described argumentation as analogous to reasoning in law and jurisprudence, in which judgment rather than demonstration is called for and the exercise is one of justification rather than proof. This essay reviews the critiques of formal reason each theorist offers and their different bases for coming to law as the model for argumentation—jurisprudential procedure in Toulmin’s case and the rule of justice in Perelman’s. It then considers how the theory and practice of argumentation would be affected if this analogy were taken as the starting point for theory construction rather than just as a general orientation for the field. This paper was presented originally at the Third Tokyo Conference on Argumentation in 2008. It is reprinted by permission from the conference volume, Proceedings of the Third Tokyo Conference on Argumentation (Tokyo: Japan Debate Association, 2008), 299–303.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationArgumentation Library
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 2014

Publication series

NameArgumentation Library
ISSN (Print)1566-7650
ISSN (Electronic)2215-1907


  • Argument and law
  • Chaim Perelman
  • Jurisprudential analogy
  • Presumption
  • Rule of justice
  • Stephen Toulmin
  • Universal audience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law
  • Philosophy
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Language and Linguistics


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