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MWP Occasional Talk with Prof. Timothy Endicott (University of Oxford) - Interpretation and homonymous activities

Dates:
  • Thu 14 Dec 2017 17.00 - 19.00
  Add to Calendar 2017-12-14 17:00 2017-12-14 19:00 Europe/Paris MWP Occasional Talk with Prof. Timothy Endicott (University of Oxford) - Interpretation and homonymous activities

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.

Emeroteca, Badia Fiesolana DD/MM/YYYY
  Emeroteca, Badia Fiesolana

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.


Location:
Emeroteca, Badia Fiesolana

Affiliation:
Max Weber Programme

Type:
Lecture

Contact:
Francesca Grassini (EUI - Max Weber Programme) - Send a mail

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