Inferring the Intention. Or, What Law the Legislature Could Have Intended to Make

  • Damiano Canale
  • Giovanni Tuzet


What can be inferred from the silence of the legislature about a certain circumstance? What kind of intention, if any, can be at-tributed to the silent legislature? We show in the first part of the paper that antithetical claims can be inferred from it, depending on the assumptions that one uses as premises of the argument purported to show what the legislative intention is. In the second part of the paper we propose an inferenti-al analysis of these assumptions, which specifies the pragmatic conditions under which such opposite uses of the argument are justified. The study of these conditions leads us to highlight the connecting function of the argument from intention in legal ar-gumentation, and some interesting features of counterfactuals in legal reasoning.


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