Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1987

Abstract

The question I wish to raise is whether one must believe what one says when one makes a statement of law. The language of belief that we know, and from which moral discourse and the moral never stray far: do judges, lawyers, law participate in it? Any such question is but an aspect of a larger question, indeed issue, of what we may call the objectivity of legal language. It is raised perhaps most acutely by the broad claims now being made for artificial intelligence and in particular for the computer programming of legal advice (as a species of what is called, in that field of applied science, an "expert system"). But it arises also when we contemplate legal texts bureaucratically produced - texts that are not written by the person who signs them. It is to this latter, more limited, and more familiar context that I will direct our consideration here. The shadow of Herbert Simon's Sciences of the ArtificialI we will leave to flicker in the background.


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