Interpretation, Truth, and the Logical Form of Interpretive Discourse

  • Pierluigi Chiassoni


The paper purports to provide an analytical treatment of the truth and legal interpretation issue. In the first part, it lays down a conceptual apparatus meant to capture the main aspects of the legal interpretation phenomenon, with particular attention paid to the several kinds of linguistic outputs (interpretive sentences in a broad sense) resulting from interpretive activities (in a broad sense). In the second part, it recalls three different notions of truth (empirical truth, pragmatic truth, and systemic truth), focussing, so far as systemic truth is concerned, on the difference between deductive and rhetorical normative systems. In the third, and last, part, it shows in which ways the phenomenon of legal interpretation encompasses truth-apt entities, leaving the choice between austere and liberal alethic pluralism to the reader. A few, final, remarks address the formalism/scepticism problem.

The Problem of Legal Meaning. A debate on legal interpretation