How to Undo (and Redo) Words with Facts: A Semio-enactivist Approach to Law, Space and Experience

International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique 36 (1):313-367 (2022)
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Abstract

In this essay both the facts/values and facticity/normativity divides are considered from the perspective of global semiotics and with specific regard to the relationships between legal meaning and spatial scope of law’s experience. Through an examination of the inner and genetic projective significance of categorization, I will analyze the semantic dynamics of the descriptive parts comprising legal sentences in order to show the intermingling of factual and axiological/teleological categorizations in the unfolding of legal experience. Subsequently, I will emphasize the translational and enactive cognitive disposition underlying the construction of the second premise of the so-called judiciary syllogism and thereby the untenability of the idea that ‘law makes its facts.’ Hence, I will try to bring to the fore the cultural pre-assumptions encapsulated in the positivistic and therefore also formalistic or analytical approaches to legal experience and the loss of their inner consistency when legal experience confronts the phases and major changes of global semiotics. Finally, I will strive to relativize the opposition between the positivist and non-positivistic theories of law in view of an understanding of legal experience focused not only, or at least not primarily, on what ‘law is’ but also on ‘how’ it unwinds through, and _in spite of_, environmental and semantic transformations.

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How to do things with words.John Langshaw Austin - 1962 - Oxford [Eng.]: Clarendon Press. Edited by Marina Sbisá & J. O. Urmson.

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