Back to basics: A theory of the emergence of institutional facts [Book Review]

Law and Philosophy 17 (3):271-299 (1998)
Abstract
In order to account for the mode of existence of social rules and norms, the author develops a theory of the emergence of institutional facts. Just as other kinds of institutional fact, rules and norms are meanings. Therefore, insight into the emergence of social rules and norms can be achieved by studying the recognition and the communication of meanings. Following accounts of meaning and factuality, institutional facts are characterized as unquestionable shared typifications. It is argued that, in becoming an institutional fact, a typification goes through two phases. First, it becomes a social habit. Second, this habit turns into an obligation by being objectified.
Keywords legal theory  institutional facts  legal validity  sociology of knowledge
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