The Unending Conversation: Gut Renovations, Comparative Legal Rhetoric and the Ongoing Critique of Deductive Reasoning

Elizabeth Berenguer, Lucy A. Jewel and Teri A. McMurtry-Chubbs’ Gut Renovations: Using Critical and Comparative Rhetoric to Remodel How the Law Addresses Privilege and Power interrogates one of the shibboleths of legal writing and analysis: deductive reasoning. Gut Renovations begins from the premise that deductive reasoning, if it is even mentioned at all in the scholarly arguments about the law’s bias, is largely discounted as being a minor player and a neutral organizational tool. This is, the authors argue, not only misguided but also counterproductive. Deductive reasoning, they posit, is not objective or neutral; rather, it is one of the central villains working to perpetuate bias in law. In other words, no matter how much we critique legal doctrine, law will continue to be an ineffectual tool in the fight for social justice as long as we teach deductive reasoning, uncritically, as the way to reason in law. This challenge to one of the most enduring orthodoxies of legal writing and rhetoric alone would make Gut Renovations worth reading and considering.