Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Causal Legal Semantics: A Critical Assessment *

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Journal of Moral Philosophy

A provision’s legal meaning is thought by many to be a function of its literal meaning. To explain the appearance that lawyers are arguing over a provision’s legal meaning and not just over which outcome would be more prudent or morally preferable, some legal literalists claim that a provision’s literal meaning may be causally, rather than conventionally, determined. I argue, first, that the proposed explanation is inconsistent with common intuitions about legal meaning; second, that explaining legal disagreement as a function of the causally determined meanings of moral terms requires, but lacks, a causal semantics which is clearly consistent with the scope of moral disagreement. Finally, I suggest that an element of the theory of language invoked by ‘causal’ legal literalists might be better deployed as part of an intentionalist account of legal practice.

Affiliations: 1: School of Law, National University of Ireland, Maynooth,


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Journal of Moral Philosophy — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation