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conclusion and without having operated a choice between two possible conclusions… The influence of dialectics on legal reasoning does not exclude, then, all intervention of formal logic. This implies a certain comprehensiveness to legal reasoning which gives it its specific character …’ (Bergel, Theorie generale du droit, 3rd edn, 1999, Dalloz, p 276). Is the specific character of legal reasoning simply the intermixing of the dialectical scheme of intelligibility with a structural (logical) scheme (cf above, pp 169–77)? Notes 1 It has long been thought that deduction was reducible to the syllogism. In its classical form (Aristotle, as developed by the medieval philosophers) the typical example is a structure of three parts: (a) all men are mortal; (b) Socrates is a man; (c) therefore, Socrates is mortal. The syllogism is thus composed of three propositions: (a) the major premise; (b) the minor premise; and (c) the conclusion. What makes this seemingly banal example so important is that the structure is entirely abstract and formal. The elements ‘man’, ‘mortal and ‘Socrates’ can be
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