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Post-Structuralism - Essay Example

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Along with Lvi-Strauss, three of the most prominent post-structuralists were first counted among the so-called "Gang of Four" of structuralism par excellence: Jacques Lacan, Roland Barthes, and Michel Foucault. The works of Jacques Derrida, Gilles Deleuze, and Julia Kristeva are also counted as prominent examples of post-structuralism.
Legal theory is necessarily involved with question of language, meaning and interpretation. Language has increasingly become a major object of inquiry within diver's range of legal theory. This is partly due to the work of J.L. Austin and his speech language theory, between 1962 and 1973. 2
At that time discussions were very passionate, then, after a less popular period, it re-finds a great interest at the beginning of the eighties. In France, it has penetrated philosophy thanks to the works of Ducrot and Ricoeur. The first publication on this subject dates from 1974. In Europe the situation is quite similar with one remarkable exception in 1962 with the Swedish K. Olivecrona and the Finish G.H. von Wright3. But in 1972, Alf Ross published an article with a signification title:" The Rise and Fall of the Doctrine of Per formatives ", in one hand he rejected following Austin's first distinction between per formatives and constatives, or more generally, between "saying something" and "doing something", but on the other hand, he didn't accept the second version of the theory, with the distinction between the elocutionary, illocutionary, and perlocucionnary act. Alf Ross distinguished only two main types of speech act: indicative and directive, in his book "Directives and Norms". Each of these acts had one or several norms behind to determine its normative consequences. These norms were called "norms of competence".
Contribution to the question of the legal language specificity: a frontal attack against basis of the pure theory of law.
The theorical reason of the language theory attraction exercised on jurists is that in the sixties legal theoricians and philosophers went to a saturation point caused by kelsenien theory. Thus per formative theory allowed a frontal attack against the bases of pure theory by suppressing grnd norm "hypothesis". In admitting existence of per formative speech acts, which didn't ask existence of superior norms, we could denounce what Mc Cormick called "the imperativist fallacy". But it is also important to stress that speech act theory allowed to oppose oneself to the epistemological rupture, inherited from Hume and Kant applied in our field by Kelsen between Sein and Sollen, Is and Ought. Some jurists had this deep intuition that this radical scission which closed them in the "swollen world", the one of signification of will act, cut them from reality, and deprive legal reasoning from perception foundations signing by its irrationalism. Though, doctrine of per formatives by its theory of presuppositions reinaugurates the link between speech act and its factual presuppositions. It is the reason why the speech act theory has ...Show more


The term is troublesome because relations between the work of scholars generally held to be post-structuralists (as, virtually without exception, they do not identify themselves as such) are often contentious, and there is nothing like a common set of works to which they all refer as shared doctrine (rather unlike structuralism, where the work of Claude Lvi-Strauss1 is regarded as a common point of reference)…
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Post-Structuralism essay example
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