Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Flanagan, B
2013
January
Journal of Moral Philosophy
Causal Legal Semantics: A Critical Assessment
Published
1 ()
Optional Fields
10
3
24
A provision's legal meaning is thought by many to be a function of its literal meaning. To explain the appearance that lawyers are arguing over a provision's legal meaning and not just over which outcome would be more prudent or morally preferable, some legal literalists claim that a provision's literal meaning may be causally, rather than conventionally, determined. I argue, first, that the proposed explanation is inconsistent with common intuitions about legal meaning; second, that explaining legal disagreement as a function of the causally determined meanings of moral terms requires, but lacks, a causal semantics which is clearly consistent with the scope of moral disagreement. Finally, I suggest that an element of the theory of language invoked by 'causal' legal literalists might be better deployed as part of an intentionalist account of legal practice.
LEIDEN
1740-4681
10.1163/174552412X628832
Grant Details