Skip main navigation
We use cookies to give you a better experience, if that’s ok you can close this message and carry on browsing. For more info read our cookies policy.
We use cookies to give you a better experience. Carry on browsing if you're happy with this, or read our cookies policy for more information.

Logical and Critical Thinking and Legal Reasoning

We’ve been looking at some broad areas in which effective logical and critical thinking are important and which generate distinct approaches to the questions they address.

Last week we looked at science. This week we’ll be looking at law, focussing on three important aspects of legal reasoning which connect to broader themes in logical and critical thinking:

  • Reasoning by Analogy
  • Law’s distinctive attitude to Arguments from Authority
  • The Burden of Proof.

We aim to help you to:

  • Identify and assess reasoning by analogy in law and elsewhere.
  • Recognise the significance of the burden of proof.
  • Explain why appeals to authority are respectable in law.

We’ll see that the things we’ve learned about logical and critical thinking enrich our understanding of these features of legal reasoning, and that the benefits run in the other directions as well: understanding how legal reasoning proceeds enriches our understanding of logical and critical thinking more generally.

Share this article:

This article is from the free online course:

Logical and Critical Thinking

The University of Auckland

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join:

Contact FutureLearn for Support