An Introduction to Legal Reasoning

Originally published in 1949, An Introduction to Legal Reasoning is widely acknowledged as a classic text. As its opening sentence states, “This is an attempt to describe generally the process of legal reasoning in the field of case law and in the interpretation of statutes and of the Constitution.” In elegant and lucid prose, Edward H. Levi does just that in a concise manner, providing an intellectual foundation for generations of students as well as general readers.

For this edition, the book includes a substantial new foreword by leading contemporary legal scholar Frederick Schauer that helpfully places this foundational book into its historical and legal contexts, explaining its continuing value and relevance to understanding the role of analogical reasoning in the law. This volume will continue to be of great value to students of logic, ethics, and political philosophy, as well as to members of the legal profession and everyone concerned with problems of government and jurisprudence.


  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; 2 edition (September 19, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 022608972X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226089720
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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4 thoughts on “An Introduction to Legal Reasoning”

  1. A small book concerning Edward Levi’s theory on legal reasoning. The size is perfectly compact, but don’t let that fool you. Levi’s reasoning takes serious concentration to follow. By no means an “introduction” to the law, you should have a fairly good grasp on the workings of the court system before trying to finish this. The excellent new foreword to this edition by Schauer helps give needed context. Recommended for anyone heading to law school or interested in legal theory.

  2. It’s the first legal book I ever bought. I found it difficult to follow – perhaps a more basic introductory text to Law is needed before attempting this one. To be honest I gave up after about 30 pages.

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