[Introduction] to Diverse narratives of legal objectivity

Breda, Vito and Rodack, Lidia (2016) [Introduction] to Diverse narratives of legal objectivity. In: Diverse narratives of legal objectivity: an interdisciplinary perspective. Dia-Logos: Studies in Philosophy and Social Sciences, 19. Peter Lang, Oxford, England, pp. 7-12. ISBN 978-3-631-65343-2

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Abstract

Objectivity is an inherently complex philosophical concept and, as such, it is a continually recurring theme in philosophical and jurisprudential debates. One of the fundamental questions, still surrounded in controversy, is whether objectivity is a 'self-generated' universal concept that transcends local discourse. If so, how can it be philosophically justifiable, and what part, if any, does the jurisprudential debate play in such a discourse? Although these questions may appear a bit naive nowadays, they express the ambitions and power of the concept of objectivity. On one hand, it represents the desire for truth, akin to Kant's 'things in themselves', something fixed and eternal. On the more negative side, objectivity interpreted as the narration of a timeless universal truth is associated with its power to impose authority from above.

In 'The Structure of Scientific Revolution', Thomas Kuhn claimed: 'that there is no representation of facts without an observatory language, and there is no observatory language which is 'theory free'. Under this system, a rejection of objectivity in its strong sense seems inevitable. In line with this way of thinking, social sciences have adopted the concept of intersubjectivity in place of objectivity, which seems better suited to humanities in general. Law and legal discourse, however, which play central roles in organizing human society, remain strongly committed to the notion of objectivity, despite all the controversy that surrounds it. The rationale behind this is far from straightforward. It is not at all clear whether law has a distinctive type of objectivity, separate from scientific epistemic methods, or whether legal discourse has its own specificity that influences legal objectivity. If either of these are true, we have to ask what it is for law to be objective and whether objectivity is suitable for law, given its contested and changeable nature. If objectivity is somehow necessary for law, we also need to ascertain whether there is just one type of objectivity or different types of objectivity that meet its requirements. These questions are all addressed in the book.

The main aim of this edited collection of essays is to contribute to the debate on legal objectivity. The authors address the debates on the status of law and judicial discourse separately and the papers can be roughly divided into two categories. Articles in the first category focus on the general debate over metaphysical objectivity (by Pazdziora, Berdisova, Pichlak and Rodak). Articles in the second category form part of the debate over the possibility of epistemologically objective procedures (by Pieniazek, Denaro, Sena, Cercel, Marrani, Breda, and Szerletcs).


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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published Version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Law and Justice
Date Deposited: 05 May 2017 05:50
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2017 01:24
Uncontrolled Keywords: objectivity; judicial procedures
Fields of Research : 18 Law and Legal Studies > 1801 Law > 180199 Law not elsewhere classified
18 Law and Legal Studies > 1801 Law > 180108 Constitutional Law
18 Law and Legal Studies > 1801 Law > 180106 Comparative Law
18 Law and Legal Studies > 1801 Law > 180104 Civil Law and Procedure
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 94 Law, Politics and Community Services > 9404 Justice and the Law > 940499 Justice and the Law not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: 10.3726/978-3-653-04533-8
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/31075

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