Law and the Human Sciences

Law and the Human Sciences

Law and the Human Sciences

Law and the Human Sciences

Synopsis

The human sciences, says Foucault, are those inquiries about 'man' as the two-faced one. The 'object and knower of knowledge, ' refers to 'man' whose heads look in and out rather than left and right at past and future. Although Foucault is primarily concerned with relations of abstract power rather than human interpersonal relations, the idea of the human sciences - the 'immature sciences' - do provide an intellectual position recast as a target to hit against. A legal system which interprets and represents the value of freedom can do so only if it grows out of the free reciprocity of communicative exchange between free people. Here law functions as a link and as a pivot between possible and ideal, between physical and metaphysical.This volume of the papers presented at the Fifth Round Table on Law and Semiotics is, as is all of Legal semiotics, an investigatory tool: a discovery of legal meaning, and a means of discovery, i.e., a way of producing such evidence that may be further evaluated in judgments of Law's acts and transactions with other sign-systems in the whole sphere of social organization

Excerpt

When the call for papers went out for this year's Round Table on Law and Semiotics, with the main theme of the conference given as LAW AND THE HUMAN SCIENCES, it was noted as a janus-faced, pivotal stage in the development of this idea called Legal Semiotics. We regard the evolution of complex sign-systems such as the idea of law as part of our indebtedness to Peirce. He pioneered and opened up the field of semiotics as an area for ongoing inquiry. More accurately it might be said that he came upon it at one edge, at the boundary shared with American pragmatism in philosophy and with Legal Realism in Law. Certainly there are other edges, e.g. Continental hermeneutics, Prague linguistics, Greimasian structural linguistics approach to semiotics/semiology.

This fifth-year Round Table may be regarded as a mediational device. All of Legal Semiotics regarded as an investigatory tool may be understood as a discovery of legal meaning, and as a means of discovery, i.e., a way of producing such evidence that may be further evaluated in judgments of Law's acts and transactions with other sign-systems in the whole sphere of social organization.

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