Speaker Meaning and Conventional Meaning in Legal Norms

Philosophical Alternatives 31 (1):120-138 (2022)
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Law is a main source of justice in a democratic society, and as such it must send clear and unequivocal messages to its addressees. Therefore, the question of the meaning in the legal vocabulary does not lose its relevance and universality. The present study examines the question of the linguistic significance of legal norms in legal vocabulary, applying an interdisciplinary approach. Joining the thesis that the legislation can be considered as an expression of the legally significant will of the rule-making authority, the legal provisions will be presented as an intentional act. In search of the most appropriate explanatory method, two kinds of theories will be applied in parallel: Paul Grice's theory of linguistic meaning, on the one hand, and some theories with both textualist and intentionalist orientation, on the other. Subsequently, the communicative maxims proposed by Grice will be related to selected normative requirements related to the language of the normative acts.

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Боян Баханов
Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski (Alumnus)


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