Ceci: The Role of Argumentation Theory in the Logics of Judgements

Marcello Ceci of University College Cork has published The Role of Argumentation Theory in the Logics of Judgements, in Michał Araszkiewic et al. (Eds.), Problems of Normativity, Rules and Rule-Following (Springer 2015).

Click here to access some portions of the chapter on Google Books.

Here is the abstract:

The present paper represents an effort towards the acquisition of an acknowledged standard for the rule and logics layer of the semantic web stack of technologies. It is part of a broader research trying to improve the state-of-the-art of legal knowledge representation by facing its main issues: the gap between document representation and rule modeling, and the need for a shared standard in the logic layer to represent legal reasoning. The paper focuses on the upper part of the semantic web stack, namely the rules and logics layers: here, the Carneades Argumentation System supports the reproduction of judicial argumentation through a ruleset and a knowledge base imported from an OWL/RDF ontology. Being based upon the theories of argumentation developed by Gordon and Walton, Carneades supports argumentation schemes and uses them as templates while instantiating rules, ontology and cases into argument graphs. We argue that using argument schemes is the only viable choice to represent legal reasoning properly, and for this purpose, the concept of argument scheme should include templates that represent procedural aspects of legal processes, such as the acts available to the parties during a court trial. Even if emerging standards in rule representation (such as LegalRuleML) overcome many of the limitations of precedent languages, they lack a complete model of the argumentation process. This, as the paper tries to demonstrate, prevents the representation of legal arguments in their procedural aspects and in those aspects related to patterns and tasks of argumentation, hindering its capability to perform a correct evaluation of the acceptability of legal arguments. In order to support that claim, two examples are provided. The concluding remarks broaden the perspective to include the general need for a standard in legal reasoning engines.

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