Article/Publication Details

The Semantics and Pragmatics in the Philosophy of Law

(Original title: Podoby sémantiky a pragmatiky vo filozofii práva)
Organon F, 2013, vol. 20, Supplementary Issue 1, pp. 105-121.
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This essay deals with the relationship between philosophy of law and philosophy of language. The author closely follows the discussion concerning the determination of the content of the law which has been remarked by current semantics and pragmatics in philosophy of language. According to a view that has considerable currency at present, philosophy of language and linguistics have a direct bearing on the content of the law. The general outlook of this view – the communicative-content theory of law (the communication theory) can be captured in the following way. Legal texts are linguistic texts, so the meaning or content of a legal text is an instance of linguistic meaning generally. It therefore stands to reason that, in order to understand the meaning of an authoritative legal text or utterance, such as a statute or regulation, we should look to our best theories about language and communication.


interpretation, legal norm, literal meaning, pragmatics, proposition, semantics.

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