May 1, 2015
Inference, intention, and "ordinary meaning": What jurists can learn about legal interpretation from linguistics and philosophy
About the Symposium
The interpretation of legal texts is one of the fundamental duties of the judiciary. The standard by which legal texts are to be interpreted, though, is subject to differing views. For instance, should the communicative meaning of the text be decisive, or at least influential? If so, how is the communicative meaning determined? Is actual authorial intent decisive or should interpretation rely on objective determinants of meaning and eschew the decisiveness of authorial intent? If the communicative meaning of a text is not decisive, what should be the determinants of meaning? Should the answers to the above questions depend on the kind of legal text being interpreted?
One might expect that those who study language would have particular insights into many of the issues involved in legal interpretation. The conference will therefore consider the extent to which disciplines that study language can help shape views of legal interpretation. The conference will address the issues raised above, as well as others relating to legal interpretation.
Participants will include law professors with interdisciplinary interests in linguistics and philosophy as well as professors from linguistics and philosophy departments.
Reservations can be made by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: 916.739.7316.
- Nicholas Allot — University of Oslo
- Jill Anderson — University of Connecticut
- Kent Greenawalt — Columbia University
- Francis J. Mootz III — University of the Pacific, McGeorge
- Karen Petroski — Saint Louis University
- Frank Ravitch — Michigan State University
- Gideon Rosen — Princeton University
- Benjamin Mark Shaer — Carleton University
- Brian Slocum — University of the Pacific, McGeorge
- Larry Solan — Brooklyn Law School
- Larry Solum — Georgetown University