In this paper, we investigate the ‘ought implies can’ thesis, focusing on explanations and interpretations of OIC, with a view to clarifying its uses and relevance to legal philosophy. We first review various issues concerning the semantics and pragmatics of OIC; then we consider how OIC may be incorporated in Hartian and Kelsenian theories of the law. Along the way we also propose a taxonomy of OIC-related claims.
The paper set up a small “philosophical lab” for thought experiments using Digital Universes as its main tool. Digital Universes allow us to examine how mereology affects the debate on New Realism of Ferraris and shed new light on the whole notion of Realism. The semi-formal framework provides a convenient way to model the varieties of realism that are important for the program of New Realism: we then draw the natural consequences of this approach into the ontology of our world, (...) arguing that the same considerations that apply to Digital Universe would hold for chess, institutions and social objects as well. Once a particular version of mereology is chosen, there are unavoidable consequences that the very underlying structure of social ontology. We then propose a new New Realism to tackle social objects: social objects turn out to be nothing more than mereological sums, picked up by some description. (shrink)
My Ph.D. thesis Impossibilità nel diritto [Impossibility in the Legal Domain] is devoted to the systematic analyses of what are called, at least prima facie, legal impossibilities. My dissertation defines and isolates an area of studies - impossibility in the law - that has never been put organically together. In my work I present some case studies of normative impossibilities and discuss them from a philosophical point of view: impossible laws, impossible norms in a prescriptive theory of norms (ch. 2), (...) conflicting norms and legal gaps (metanormative impossibility - ch. 3), impossible obligations (ch. 4), impossible crimes (ch. 5), impossible legal proofs (ch. 6). I organize my research along the distinction - introduced in ch. 1 - between impossibility of norms (i.e. impossible norms and impossible normative acts) and impossibility from norms (i.e. impossibility due to a norm or a set of norms); the distinction between the impossibility of a norm conceived as a single entity and the impossibility of a norm conceived as part of a legal system; and the distinction of two uses of impossibilities in general, as impossibility can be both the object of a modal qualification and a modality itself. I propose four new contributions to the study of impossibility in the legal domain (ch. 7). Firstly, I reconstruct two different functions of the impossibility in the legal domain (exculpatory and invalidating); secondly, I put forward a triadic model for describing impossibility in the legal domain (in which, roughly, a set of sources of impossibilities is qualified by a function for the assumption of impossibility in the actual and concrete legal system); thirdly, I define and investigate the relationship of creation, assumption and presupposition between impossibility and a legal system; fourthly, I critically list and review all the different kinds of things that are called impossibilities inside a legal system, showing how sometimes the use of the concept of impossibility is not carefully justified. As an appendix (ch. 8), I outline a logic for impossibilities in the legal domain that allows to investigate the phenomena discussed in the work by breaking down the equivalence between being impossible (in the legal domain) and being logically contradictory. (shrink)
This paper investigates whether or not cases of in concreto antinomies (ICAs for short, also called indirect antinomies, accidental antinomies, normative conflicts due to the facts, predicaments, or paranomies) can be predicted. I distinguish two main theoretical positions: “Prodetection” argues that we can predict in concreto antinomies; “unpredictability” argues that we cannot predict them.I exemplify the two positions by relying on a disagreement found in the literature; then, after reviewing that disagreement, I (i) provide arguments for both positions; (ii) highlight (...) the problematic issues for a definition of in concreto antinomy based on conceptual independence; (iii) point out some problems in Martínez Zorrilla’s threefold conception of normative conflicts; and (iv) advocate the need to introduce a case for “practically unpredictable” normative conflicts. (shrink)
I offer a framework for impossibility in the legal domain. I argue for two main points: the use of ‘impossibility’ and ‘impossible’ in the legal domain is often incoherent; in the law we often different concepts of impossibility as well as concepts that differ from impossibility that are nonetheless called ‘impossibility’.
What follows is a brief commentary to Dan Sperber's plenary lecture at ECAP7 "The deconstruction of social unreality". Sperber's main criticism to Searle's socia lontology is that Searle attributes a causal role to mere Cambridge properties. Sperber then argues that declarations do not create institutional facts causally, criticizes the Serlean theory of recognition/acceptance and put forward his thesis using the concept cognitive causal chains.
I investigate collective intentionality (CI) through the “Ought” implies “Can” (OIC) principle. My leading question is does OIC impose any further requirement on CI? In answering the challenge inside a Searlean framework, I realize that we need to clarify what CI's structure is and what kind of role the agents joining a CI-act have. In the last part of the paper, I put forward an (inverted) Hartian framework to allow the Searlean CI theory to be agent sensitive and cope with (...) the problems that emerged. (shrink)