Three Concepts of Objectivity

Andrei Marmor

in Positive Law and Objective Values

Published in print May 2001 | ISBN: 9780198268970
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191713187 | DOI:
Three Concepts of Objectivity

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The conventional foundations of law and law's relative autonomy raise some difficult questions about the objectivity of law, morality, and the relations between them. This chapter analyzes various aspects of objectivity and proposes a theory of objectivity based on the distinction between objectivity and metaphysical realism. The example of interpretation in the realm of works of art is used to exemplify three different concepts of objectivity, none of which is committed to metaphysical realism. First, there is objectivity or subjectivity in what is called the semantic sense. The second concept is known as metaphysical objectivity, wherein the objective-subjective dichotomy is a matter of metaphysical truth. The third and final concept is discourse objectivity; a certain class of statements is objective in this sense if it makes sense to ascribe truth values to statements of that class.

Keywords: objectivity; metaphysical realism; works of art; subjectivity; semantic objectivity; discourse objectivity; morality; interpretation

Chapter.  11282 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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