In John Gardner, Leslie Green & Brian Leiter (eds.), Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Law, vol. 3. Oxford University Press. pp. 49-86 (2018)

Authors
Stephen Finlay
Australian Catholic University
David Plunkett
Dartmouth College
Abstract
Speech and thought about what the law is commonly function in practical ways, to guide or assess behavior. These functions have often been seen as problematic for legal positivism in the tradition of H.L.A. Hart. One recent response is to advance an expressivist analysis of legal statements (Toh), which faces its own, familiar problems. This paper advances a rival, positivist-friendly account of legal statements which we call “quasi-expressivist”, explicitly modeled after Finlay’s metaethical theory of moral statements. This consists in a descriptivist, “rule-relational” semantics combined with a pragmatic account of the expressive and practical functions of legal discourse. We argue that this approach is at least as well-equipped as expressivism to explain the motivational and prescriptive features of “internal” legal statements, as well as a fundamental kind of legal disagreement, while being better positioned to account for various “external” uses of the same language. We develop this theory in a Hartian framework, and in the final part of the paper argue (particularly against Toh’s expressivist interpretation) that Hart’s own views in The Concept of Law are best reconstructed along such quasi-expressivist lines.
Keywords H.L.A. Hart  Legal Semantics  Quasi-Expressivism  Legal Pragmatics
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References found in this work BETA

On What Matters: Two-Volume Set.Derek Parfit - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
Being Realistic About Reasons.T. M. Scanlon - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
Metaphysical Dependence: Grounding and Reduction.Gideon Rosen - 2010 - In Bob Hale & Aviv Hoffmann (eds.), Modality: Metaphysics, Logic, and Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 109-135.

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Citations of this work BETA

Defining Normativity.Stephen Finlay - 2019 - In Kevin Toh, David Plunkett & Scott Shapiro (eds.), Dimensions of Normativity: New Essays on Metaethics and Jurisprudence. Oxford University Press. pp. 62-104.
The Folk Concept of Law: Law Is Intrinsically Moral.Brian Flanagan & Ivar R. Hannikainen - 2022 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 100 (1):165-179.
What Does ‘Legal Obligation’ Mean?Daniel Wodak - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (4):790-816.
Hybrid Dispositionalism and the Law.Teresa Marques - 2019 - In Kevin Toh, David Plunkett & Scott Shapiro (eds.), Dimensions of Normativity: New Essays on Metaethics and Jurisprudence. New York: Oxford University Press.

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