Three kinds of intention in lawmaking

Law and Philosophy 36 (6):651-674 (2017)
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The nature of legislative intent remains a subject of vigorous debate. Its many participants perceive the intent in different ways. In this paper, I identify the reason for such diverse perceptions: three intentions are involved in lawmaking, not one. The three intentions correspond to the three aspects of a speech act: locutionary, illocutionary and perlocutionary. The dominant approach in legal theory holds that legislative intent is a semantic one. A closer examination shows that it is, in fact, an illocutionary one. In the paper, I draw the consequences for legal interpretation of this more theorized model of legislative intent.
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First archival date: 2015-07-08
Latest version: 2 (2017-05-07)
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