The Vociferous Rupture: Silence, Law and Ignorance

Organdi Revue, Vol. 7, February 2005

12 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2009

See all articles by Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos

Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos

University of Westminster, Westminster Law & Theory Centre

Date Written: February 7, 2005

Abstract

SilencSilence as a contextualised operation within the legal system carries a certain meaning which is understood by the system. In this article, silence is being interpreted as the negation of legal meaning, that is an expression of the impossibility of communication, which remains within the system as a space of ignorance. Such space crates a rupture of the normal self-description of law as a societal value which encourages the production of reliable expectations, and allows law to assume a more flexible, uncertain and volatile self-description. This is greatly attributed to the fact that silence, as an indication of ignorance, points to an acknowledgment of the limitations of the law's abilities. Perception and communication of such silence is equally problematic, thus valuable for the continuously self-renewed description of the system.

Keywords: Luhmann, Social Systems, Autopoiesis, Silence, Law, Communication

JEL Classification: K10, K19

Suggested Citation

Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, Andreas, The Vociferous Rupture: Silence, Law and Ignorance (February 7, 2005). Organdi Revue, Vol. 7, February 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1339267

Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos (Contact Author)

University of Westminster, Westminster Law & Theory Centre ( email )

School of Law, University of Westminster
4-12 Little Titchfield Street
London, W1W7UW
United Kingdom

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