[Introduction] to Diverse narratives of legal objectivity

Edited book (chapter)


Breda, Vito and Rodack, Lidia. 2016. "[Introduction] to Diverse narratives of legal objectivity." Breda, Vito and Rodack, Lidia (ed.) Diverse narratives of legal objectivity: an interdisciplinary perspective. Oxford, England. Peter Lang Publishing. pp. 7-12
Chapter Title

[Introduction] to Diverse narratives of legal objectivity

Book Chapter CategoryEdited book (chapter)
ERA Publisher ID2934
Book TitleDiverse narratives of legal objectivity: an interdisciplinary perspective
AuthorsBreda, Vito (Author) and Rodack, Lidia (Author)
EditorsBreda, Vito and Rodack, Lidia
Volume19
Page Range7-12
SeriesDia-Logos: Studies in Philosophy and Social Sciences
Number of Pages6
Year2016
PublisherPeter Lang Publishing
Place of PublicationOxford, England
ISBN9783631653432
9783653045338
Web Address (URL)https://www.peterlang.com/document/1048602
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).

Keywordsobjectivity; judicial procedures
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020489999. Other law and legal studies not elsewhere classified
480702. Constitutional law
480302. Comparative law
480502. Civil procedure
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Byline AffiliationsSchool of Law and Justice
Silesian University, Poland
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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