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Legal Discourses

Marcus Galdia

The book approaches law from the legal-linguistic perspective. Its aim is to clarify the processes in which the meaning of law emerges in legal discourses. In order to enable the understanding of law as a discursive practice, professional and non-professional discourses are analyzed. With this aim in mind, the author focuses on the epistemological consequences of the discursiveness of law. Other relevant legal-linguistic operations such as legal interpretation or legal translation are scrutinized in terms of their theoretical prerequisites and their practical consequences. Their analysis also shows the potential and the limits of law as a social and as a linguistic phenomenon that is determined by its discursiveness. Finally, the book demonstrates how the discursiveness as the distinctive feature of law establishes the connection between the science of law and other social sciences.
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Part 2: Legal Epistemology and its Consequences


Part 2:  Legal Epistemology and its Consequences

2.1  Legal ontology and legal epistemology

Theoretical reflection about law traditionally oscillated around two fundamental questions. The first has been asked already by the ancient Greeks and other thinkers in antiquity, the second is related to the first, yet it seems to have emerged later. The ancient Greeks confronted us with the question as to what is law. Subsequently, the question as to how we can know what law actually is has been asked as a result of a long process of research into the first question. This transformation of cognitive interests constituted a lucky turn for law and later it will become clearer that the second question is more helpful in the searching for law than is the first question. Meanwhile, the first question cannot be neglected. It reflects the original linguistic process of constitution of the theoretical discourses about law. Other, mostly practical discourses about law emerged because this first fundamental question had been asked. Therefore, helpful or cumbersome as it may be, the ontological question has accompanied jurists and all others interested in law since times immemorial in their search of law. In our time, the question as to how we actually know what law is became dominant. This shift in attention towards law has a rather practical reason. Law is for the contemporary jurist and the contemporary citizen what it means. Therefore the interest in the process in which one can acquire knowledge about the...

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