The boundaries of difference in law: a critique of radical incommensurability

  • Occasionally, in pursuing their adjudicative duties over the course of a legal hearing, judges are called upon to acquire new concepts – that is, concepts which they did not possess at the commencement of the hearing. In performing their judicial role they are required to learn new things and, as a result, conceptualise the world in a way which differs from the way they conceived of things before the hearing commenced. Some theorists have argued that either as a general matter or as a matter specific to judicial practice and the legal context, judges are, with some degree of necessity, incapacitated from acquiring certain kinds of concepts. Such concepts include those possessed by the members of culturally different minority groups. Drawing on contemporary trends in analytic and naturalistic philosophy of mind, this paper explores the extent to which a judge might be incapacitated from acquiring new concepts over the course of a legal hearing and identifies those factors which condition the success or failure of that process.

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Author:Anthony J. Connolly
Parent Title (English):25th IVR World Congress: Law, Science and Technology Frankfurt am Main 15–20 August 2011 ; Paper Series ; 066
Series (Serial Number):25th IVR World Congress: Law, Science and Technology Frankfurt am Main 15–20 August 2011 ; Paper Series (066)
Place of publication:Frankfurt am Main
Document Type:Conference Proceeding
Year of Completion:2012
Year of first Publication:2012
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2012/07/20
Tag:concept acquisition; cultural difference; incommensurability; judicial understanding; legal epistemology
Page Number:15
Institutes:Rechtswissenschaft / Rechtswissenschaft
Dewey Decimal Classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 34 Recht / 340 Recht
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht