PHIL 578 - Topics in Philosophy of Law
Section: 001 Language and the Law
Term: WN 2013
Subject: Philosophy (PHIL)
Department: LSA Philosophy
Credits:
3
Waitlist Capacity:
99
Advisory Prerequisites:
Graduate standing.
Repeatability:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

This seminar looks at several issues in the quickly growing literature on the interactions between law and language. Legal rules and legal texts must, of course, be in natural language. But given that vagueness, ambiguity, and context-sensitivity are pervasive in natural language, what does that mean for the interpretation of such rules and texts? Relatedly, are vagueness, ambiguity, and so on (perhaps unavoidable) defects in legal writings, or do they serve some valuable purposes of their own? In addition, much use of language carries presuppositions, implicatures, and other types of content that go beyond semantic content. How do these figure in the interpretation of legal rules and texts? Finally, turning to criminal law, how should we understand so-called ‘language crimes’, such as threats, solicitations, and perjury? Throughout the seminar, we will be using resources from contemporary philosophy of language and linguistics to address these and related questions. In particular, a recurring theme of the seminar will be the consequences of different views about the semantics-pragmatics boundary for questions about the law.

PHIL 578 - Topics in Philosophy of Law
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
P
33023
Open
8
 
-
Th 4:00PM - 6:30PM
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