Law and Conversational Implicatures

International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique 24 (1):21-40 (2011)
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This essay investigates the applicability of Grice’s theory of conversational implicatures to legal interpretation, in order to highlight some of its characteristics. After introducing the notions of language and discourse, and briefly explaining the most salient aspects of Grice’s theory, I will analyse the interpretation of two types of legal acts; authoritative legal acts and acts of private autonomy. Regarding the first class, exemplified by statutes, I will argue against the applicability of Gricean theory due to the conflictual behaviour of the addressees and, above all, to the insurmountable indeterminacy of the contextual elements. As far as acts of private autonomy are concerned, exemplified by contracts, I will argue that the cooperative principle is applicable, at least in those legal systems that include the principle of bona fides among the interpretative regulations of such acts



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Citations of this work

Modelling Perjury: Between Trust and Blame.Izabela Skoczeń - 2021 - International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique 35 (2):771-805.

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References found in this work

The concept of law.Hla Hart - 1961 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Literal Meaning.François Récanati - 2002 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
The Concept of Law.Hla Hart - 1961 - Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press UK.
Logic and Conversation.H. P. Grice - 1975 - In Donald Davidson & Gilbert Harman (eds.), The Logic of Grammar. Encino, CA: pp. 64-75.

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