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Conclusion or stringency is a term used in argumentation theory (logic) and procedural law .

Reasoning theory and logic

Conclusion in the sense of argumentation theory and logic is a property of an argument. In logic and argumentation theory, the term is used in a double sense.

Formal correctness

Conclusiveness of the argument simply means that if the premises are true , the conclusion follows logically without making a statement about the truth of the premises. Those authors who include the truth of the premises for the concept of conclusiveness (second meaning) speak of validity instead of conclusiveness in the only formal sense . In logic one does not speak of a "conclusive conclusion", but of a (logically / formally) valid (correct / correct / generally valid ) conclusion if the truth of the conclusion from the premises (logically) necessarily follows. This is the case when it is (absolutely) impossible that the (all) premises are (at the same time) true and the conclusion is false. It does not matter whether the premises and conclusions are actually true or false.

The formal conclusiveness of arguments can also be explained by their logical form in order to simplify the sometimes difficult considerations about possibility / impossibility. According to this approach, an argument is considered conclusive if and only if all arguments that have the same logical form are also conclusive. Although this definition is circular, it is helpful: for example, to prove that an argument A is inconclusive, one can give an argument B that has the same logical form and that knows that the premises are true But the conclusion is wrong. According to the first definition, argument B is then obviously inconclusive, so argument A is also inconclusive after the second definition (a counterexample has been found).

The logical form is obtained if all non-logical expressions are consistently replaced. Logical expressions are e.g. B. the quantifiers "all" and "some", as well as junctions like "and" and "or". When it appears as a copula, “is” is also considered a logical expression.

Validity of the argument and truth of the premises

"An argument is called conclusive if and only if it is valid and all of its premises are true."

Procedural law

In procedural law, conclusiveness describes the suitability of a party presentation to carry the legal consequence sought by the party. A presentation in the process is conclusive if the facts asserted by the party - assumed to be true - fill the facts of a norm that orders a legal consequence favorable to the submitting party.

Conclusion is an important concept in legal methodology and especially in civil litigation , where it is elementary in relation to technology . The examination of the merits of a complaint begins with the examination of the conclusiveness of the plaintiff's submissions ("plaintiff station"). If a lawsuit is inconclusive, all further discussions on the defendant's submission are superfluous and evidence may not be raised. The judge rejects the inconclusive complaint - after a hint to give the submitting party the opportunity to improve their arguments.

In the conclusiveness check, the truth of the facts presented by the plaintiff is assumed and only asked whether they bear the legal consequence he is seeking.

Example : The action for the transfer of ownership of a property is "inconclusive" if the plaintiff derives his claim from an oral property purchase agreement, because a property purchase agreement requires notarial certification to be effective . The plaintiff's presentation is conclusive if he submits the conclusion of a notarized sales contract and his contractual performance of the purchase price. A purchase price action could be completely or at least partially, in terms of amount, indecisive if the plaintiff sues for the purchase price for a defect-free item, but himself admits defects in the item sold and he is responsible for defects regardless of fault.

In civil proceedings, it is up to the plaintiff to present all the facts necessary for the reason and the amount of his claim ("facts establishing the claim"). If he has done this, his statements are conclusive. However, if he himself brings forward circumstances that hinder, destroy or inhibit claims, he will make his own complaint again undecided. (Example: after the limitation period has expired, the plaintiff submits that the defendant raised the limitation objection.)

It is important to be conclusive, especially if the defendant fails to provide a defense in the preliminary written proceedings or if he fails to do so in the oral hearing. Then, according to the plaintiff's submission, a default judgment is only issued if and to the extent that the facts alleged by him justify the coveted claim, i.e. his claim is conclusively demonstrated. Otherwise, the court will reject the action based on a lack of conclusiveness (false default judgment).

Only after the plaintiff has made a conclusive submission does the court examine whether the other side's submissions are “significant” ( relevance ). A defendant's submission is relevant if it is capable of completely or partially overturning the conclusively submitted claim. To this end, the defendant can dispute the facts alleged by the plaintiff or raise objections and defenses. The test benchmark for objections and defenses is whether the facts alleged by the defendant in this regard, assumed to be true, fill the facts of a norm that does not allow the claim made by the plaintiff to arise, or which prevents it from being enforced. The defendant's objection to not being able to pay is usually irrelevant in civil proceedings; on the other hand, the objection to the defectiveness of a purchase or rental object or a work is usually considerable.

At the request of a party, the court must regularly collect evidence of effectively disputed facts that justify conclusiveness or relevance , for example by questioning witnesses or obtaining expert opinions. For example, if the parties assert incompatible facts from which different legal consequences arise (the entrepreneur considers his work to be free of defects, the customer objects to defects).

Conclusion outside the civil process

While in civil proceedings the court only judges according to the facts presented ( negotiation or submission principle ), in other proceedings (e.g. criminal, administrative proceedings) the principle of official investigation ( official maxim ) applies . In these procedures, conclusiveness plays a more subordinate role. The official investigation has also Limits: From social assistance procedures such. B. the claimant has to demonstrate his need conclusively if he asks for help.

Individual evidence

  1. Detel: Basic Course Philosophy I: Logic. (2007), p. 48; Tetens, Holm: Philosophical reasoning. Beck, Munich 2004, p. 24.
  2. See the overview in Tetens, Holm: Philosophisches Argumentieren. Beck, Munich 2004, p. 304, note 5
  3. Beckermann: Introduction to Logic. 2nd edition (2003), p. 22; Rosary: Introduction to Logic. (2006), p. 11.