Learning the truth: memorizing the Koran in an Egyptian kuttâb -- The context of truth practices: legislating the sharîa at the shopfloor level -- Telling the truth: the judge and the law in family matters -- The truth about oneself: three Arab channels and their self-presentation -- Speaking the truth: advocacy video clips against terror -- Narratives of truth: documenting the mind in a psychiatric hospital -- Conclusion: Truth: a matter of language game and practical achievement.
The ambition of “scientific creationism” is to prove that science actually confirms religion. This is especially true in the case of Muslim creationism, which adopts a reasoning of a syllogistic type: divine revelation is truth; good science confirms truth; divine revelation is henceforth scientifically proven. Harun Yahya is a prominent Muslim “creationist” whose website hosts many texts and documentary films, among which “Evidence of the true faith in historical sources”. This is a small audiovisual production which, starting from some archeological (...) files, seeks to demonstrate that Qur’an truth precedes science but is equally proven by it. In this paper, we examine the organization of the scientific and religious argumentative repertoires and, in particular, what in each of them is taken as evidence and gets access to an authoritative status. It leads us to show how much this type of Muslim creationism constitutes a kind of scientism. (shrink)
Understanding legal rules not as determinants of behavior but as points of reference for conduct, this volume considers the ways in which rules are invoked, referred to, interpreted, put forward, or blurred. It also asks how both legal practitioners and lay participants conceive of and participate in the construction of facts and rules, and thus, through decisions, defenses, pleas, files, evidence, interviews and documents, actively participate in law's life. With attention to the formulation of notions such as person, evidence, intention, (...) cause and responsibility in the course of legal practices, Legal Rules in Practice provides the outlines of a praxiological anthropology of law - an anthropology that focuses on words, concepts and reasoning as actively used to solve conflicts with the help of legal rules. As such, it will appeal to sociologists, anthropologists and scholars of law with interests in ethnomethodology, rule-based conduct and practical reasoning. (shrink)
Can the concept of law be indiscriminately extended to times and places in which it did simply not exist? Such an extension is at best useless and at worst misleading. Producing an intelligible jurisprudence of the concept of law means keeping it within the reasonable boundaries of its contemporary common-sense understanding: positive law. Parallel to Western societies in which it firstly emerged, the concept of positive law developed in many places, including countries characterized as Muslim. There, it faced other existing (...) normativities, like customs and the Sharia. This book aims, from the Muslim world's perspective, to clarify the uses of the concept of law and the ways of studying it, to describe some of its historical developments, including the ideas of constitutional law, customary law and forensic evidence, and to describe present-day practices, including reference to law sources, rules and interpretation. (shrink)
In general, in our ordinary life, we manage to make the difference between “strange” behavior and error or extravagant beliefs. The question is here to know how we do so, and against what background. There are also specialized contexts for evaluating whether certain types of behavior or discourse are normal or abnormal: courts of law and psychiatric hospitals are two examples. In these contexts, judgments are formed against a background of technical or scientific knowledge, but they also result from epistemic (...) means of evaluation that are similar to habitual ones. The paper seeks to highlight this similarity with respect to recognizing mental disturbance. Starting from Wittgenstein’s On Certainty, it attempts at extending it by drawing on notions of reciprocal perspectives and of judgments of incongruity. It documents its investigation by analyzing sequences from Malek Bensmail’s documentary, Aliénations, which examines the treatment of mental suffering in contemporary Algeria. (shrink)
Law and morality : constructs and models -- The morality of cognition : the normativity of ordinary reasoning -- Law in action : a praxeological approach to law and justice -- Law in context : legal activity and the institutional context -- Procedural constraint : sequentiality, routine, and formal correctness -- Legal relevance : the production of factuality and legality -- From law in the books to law in action : egyptian criminal law between doctrine, case law, jurisprudence, and practice (...) -- The natural person : the contingent and contextual production of legal personality -- The production of causality : a praxeological grammar of the use of causal concepts -- Intention in action : the teleological orientation of the parties to criminal cases -- Morality on trial : structure and intelligibility of the court sentence -- Questions of morality : sequential, structured organization of the interrogation -- The categories of morality : homosexuality between perversion and debauchery. (shrink)
In this article, I first criticize commonly held assumptions about what Islamic law is. I suggest that it is at best useless and at worst wrong to start with a label like ‘Islamic law’ to describe something that is presumed to be an instance of such a label. I identify the source of confusion, i.e. the postulate that there must be a kind of genealogical continuity between what people refer to as Islamic law and Islamic law as it is found (...) in the heterogeneous legacy of sharî’a and fiqh treatises. My contention is that Islamic law is what people consider as Islamic law, nothing more, nothing less, and that it is up to theologians, believers and citizens, not social scientists, to decide whether something does conform or not to some ‘grand tradition’. Second, I argue that instead of looking at the hypothetical Islamic-law model, which something like Egyptian personal status law would be an instance of, the task of social scientists is, rather, to describe the situations, the mechanisms and the processes through which people orient themselves to something they call ‘Islamic law’. This position is grounded on a principle of indifference that seeks to avoid any normative and evaluative engagement: the focus is put on the description of practices, not on their evaluation. Moreover, this position is based upon the refusal of any ironical standpoint. In other words, it denies that social scientists occupy any kind of overhanging position vis-a-vis the social that would allow them to ‘reveal’ to ‘self-deceived people’ the truth that is concealed from them because of their ‘lack of critical distance’, ‘ignorance’ and/or ‘bad faith’. Third, I ground this praxiological re-specification in examples drawn from Egyptian judicial activity in the field of personal status. (shrink)