A Pragmatic Critique to Chiassoni’s Legal Realism


  • Juan Pablo Alonso Universidad de Buenos Aires
  • María Gabriela Scataglini Universidad de Buenos Aires




Cognitivism, Legal Meaning, Know How, Pragmatic Conception, Objectivity


After a brief review of the debate between cognitivism and non-cognitivism  about the meaning of legal rules, we discuss some aspects of the “pragmatic realism” proposed by Pierlugi Chiassoni (Fontamara, 2019) related to: i) the equivalence of the “practical field” as that within which legal practice takes place, to the “ideological or moral field”; ii) his notion of meaning as interpretation or translation, claiming it incurs the error shown by the Wittgensteinian argument of the infinite regress, iii) his “interpretive games”, about which we raise some questions regarding their intralinguistic nature, iv) his assumption that for any kind of cognoscitivism “understanding” or “grasping” the meaning of the disposition necessarily refers to its “linguistic meaning”. At the same time, we propose a reformulation of cognitivism in terms of know-how (replacing know that) that we call “pragmatic cognitivism”. With this we aim to overcome the debate between cognitivists and skeptics regarding the meaning of legal rules, suggesting that this pragmatic conception leads to a notion of objectivity, contrary to the skepticism supported by Chiassoni.





The Problem of Legal Meaning. A debate on legal interpretation