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http://ssrn.com/abstract=951371
 
 

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In the Beginning Was the Word: Paradigms of Language and Normativity in Law, Philosophy, and Theology


Jonathan Yovel


NYU School of Law - Straus Institute for the Advanced Study of Law and Justice; University of Haifa - Faculty of Law


Mountbatten Journal of Legal Studies, Vol. 5, 2001

Abstract:     
This essay attempts to delineate, trace, and reconstruct the main features of three interacting language paradigms significant in legal discourse, practice and theory: rhetoric, representationalism, and performativity. The examples discussed are narratives of institutionalized and customary law that share linguistic attributes with literary forms and theological puzzles. Law, as a complex linguistic activity, is thus placed in a long tradition of linguistic theory ranging from Plato and Protagoras to Wittgenstein, Austin and the linguistic turn (Sapir-Whorf); as well as supernatural uses of law, exercised both by divine fiat and lesser practices - namely the linguistic aspects of magic - especially in determining rights and settling disputes.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 34

Keywords: legal language, rhetoric, performativity, theology, representationalism, linguistic turn and law, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, law and magic

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Date posted: December 14, 2006  

Suggested Citation

Yovel, Jonathan, In the Beginning Was the Word: Paradigms of Language and Normativity in Law, Philosophy, and Theology. Mountbatten Journal of Legal Studies, Vol. 5, 2001. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=951371

Contact Information

Jonathan Yovel (Contact Author)
NYU School of Law - Straus Institute for the Advanced Study of Law and Justice ( email )
New York
United States
University of Haifa - Faculty of Law ( email )
Mount Carmel
Haifa, 31905
Israel
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