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On Legal Inferentialism. Toward a Pragmatics of Semantic Content in Legal Interpretation?

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Abstract:

Abstract. 

In this paper we consider whether a pragmatics of semantic content can be a useful approach to legal interpretation. More broadly speaking, since a pragmatic conception of meaning is a component of inferential semantics, we consider whether an inferentialist approach to legal interpretation can be useful in dealing with some problems of this important aspect of law. In other words, we ask whether Legal Inferentialism is a suitable conception for legal interpretation. In Section 1 we briefly consider the semantics/pragmatics debate in contemporary philosophy of language and in relation to legal interpretation. In Section 2 we discuss the relations between a pragmatics of semantic content and an inferentialist conception of content. In Section 3 we consider how Inferentialism can be applied to legal interpretation. Finally, in Section 4 we consider some possible advantages and drawbacks of Inferentialism applied to legal interpretation and adjudication.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9337.2007.00345.x

Affiliations: 1: Bocconi UniversityIDC—Institute of Comparative Law “Angelo Sraffa”Via Gobbi, 520136 MilanItaly, Email: damiano.canale@unibocconi.it 2: Bocconi UniversityIDC—Institute of Comparative Law “Angelo Sraffa”Via Gobbi, 520136 MilanItaly, Email: giovanni.tuzet@unibocconi.it

Publication date: March 1, 2007

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