Legislative Intent and Acting Intentionally
Advances in Experimental Philosophy of Law (Bloomsbury Press, Stefan Magen & Karolina Prochownik, eds. 2022)
11 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2021 Last revised: 15 Mar 2022
Date Written: March 25, 2021
An experiment reveals a distinction between ordinary judgment of what legislators did "intentionally" and ordinary judgment of "legislative intent." The former reflects the well-known side-effect effect: bad effects are deemed more intentional than good ones. However, this pattern disappears in judgments of legislative intent: bad outcomes are not evaluated as more legislatively intended than good ones. For ordinary people, a law's legislative intent is not simply what its drafters did intentionally.
Keywords: experimental jurisprudence, experimental philosophy, legal theory, legal philosophy, jurisprudence, legislative intent, side-effect effect
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