Timothy Endicott (University of Oxford)
'Interpretation and homonymous activities'
14 December 2017, 17:00-18:30
Interpretation is a process of reasoning to support an answer to a question as to the meaning of some object.
How, then, can we explain the modern practice of lawyers and judges, who sometimes offer something that they call an ‘interpretation’ in support of a conclusion that is incompatible with the meaning of the object that they purport to interpret?
In such a case, whether the interpreter is (1) aiming to help the lawmaker to achieve the lawmaker’s real purpose, or (2) opposing the policy of the lawmaker, it would be accurate to describe what they are doing as reasoning to support a departure from the act of the lawmaker.
But I will argue that the common modern practice of calling such reasoning processes ‘interpretation’ is not necessarily deceitful or misconceived. It is to be understood by the analogies between such reasoning processes, and the core instances of interpretation. That is, the word ‘interpretation’ is used analogically, or homonymously.
The implication, which I will address, is that the word ‘meaning’ is, likewise, homonymous.
About the Speaker
Timothy Endicott has been Professor of Legal Philosophy since 2006, and a Fellow in Law at Balliol College since 1999. Professor Endicott writes on Jurisprudence and Constitutional and Administrative Law, with special interests in law and language and interpretation. He served as the Dean of the Faculty of Law for two terms, from October 2007 to September 2015.
He is the author of Vagueness in Law (OUP 2000), and Administrative Law, 3rd ed (OUP 2015).
After graduating with the AB in Classics and English, summa cum laude, from Harvard, he completed the MPhil in Comparative Philology in Oxford, studied Law at the University of Toronto, and practised as a litigation lawyer in Toronto. He completed the DPhil in Law in Oxford in 1998. He was appointed by Universidad Carlos III de Madrid to a Cátedra de Excelencia during 2016.
Ugo Mattei (UC Hastings)
From commons to capital and back.
The turning point in private law
Chair: Marta Morvillo (MWF-LAW)
3 May 2018, 17:00-18:30; Baia, Emeroteca
This lecture will discuss the necessary steps to transform the role and the function of private law in order to put in tune with the requirements of ecological survival.
About the speaker
Ugo Mattei is the Alfred and Hanna Fromm Distinguished Professor at U C Hastings in San Francisco, a full professor of civil law at the university of Turin and the Academic Coordinator of the International University College of Turin. He has been General Editor of the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies since 2015.
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