Law, fact and legal language

Law and Philosophy 18 (5):461-473 (1999)
This paper discusses the difference between the factual and the legal, both as to terms and as to statements, on the analogy of the methodologists' distinction of the observational and the theoretical. No absolute distinction exists, and pure `brute facts' do not exist in law because of the socialisation of physical world and juridification of the social world.; also, the effect of evidentiary constraints. Law/fact distinction depends on `applicability rules'. The problem of `mixed terms' is partly a matter of judicial pragmatics, partly to do with the character of applicability rules, and their extensiveness. Semantic realism versus semantic instrumentalism in respect of legal terms -- the latter preferred. Tendency to abstract terms in advanced legal orders.
Keywords fact  law  term  statement  brute fact  institutional fact  applicability rule  semantic realism  semantic instrumentalism
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DOI 10.2307/3505140
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