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Jaap Hage

Jaap Hage is a professor emeritus of Maastricht University, where he held the chair of jurisprudence. He has taught many different courses, including Introduction to Law, Legal Philosophy and Logic. His research has focused on legal theory, in particular legal logic and legal ontology (basic legal concepts), social ontology, and law and the cognitive sciences. He is the author or (co-)editor of many scientific articles and books, including Reasoning with Rules, Studies in Legal Logic, Foundations and Building Blocks of Law, Introduction to Law, and Law and Mind.



How Law’s Nature Influences Law’s Logic

Issue: 0:0 (Early View)
Classical logic is based on an underlying view of the world, according to which
there are elementary facts and compound facts, which are logical combinations
of these elementary facts. Sentences are true if they correspond to, in last
instance, the elementary facts in the world. This world view has no place for
rules, which exist as individuals in the world, and which create relations between
the most elementary facts. As a result, classical logic is not suitable to deal with
rules, and is therefore unsuitable to deal with legal reasoning. A logic that is
more suitable should take into account that law is a part of social reality, in
particular a part that consists of constructivist facts, and that rules play a central
role in law. This article gives a superficial description of how social reality exists
and of the place of law and legal rules in it. It uses this description to argue that
traditional techniques to reason with and about legal rules provide a better logic
for law than classical logic. These techniques can be accommodated in a logic
that treats rules as logical individuals.