The language of law: Methods and objects

This paper analyses two methods commonly used to understand legal language: deontic logic and the analysis of concepts taken as fundamental for any one or more areas of the law (sometimes called the philosophical foundations of law project). In doing so I introduce what I call the phenomenon of linguistic regress, and I do so in order to show why and how these methods necessarily fail as theories of legal language. I argue, in short, that any form of content-determination of concepts or norms fails as a method for understanding legal language because of the phenomenon of linguistic regress. Given the failure of these two methods, I argue that legal theorists should instead adopt an approach that focuses on explaining the community-based use of commonly-recurring terms and phrases found in legal language - a use, furthermore, that is most commonly exercised by legal experts (of varying degrees of skills), operating in different and interacting contexts of expertise (judicial, legislative and scholarly), and more broadly, as members of a legal community not impervious to influence from other kinds of communities.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

13 ( #194,523 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #369,877 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.