International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue internationale de Sémiotique juridique

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 83–104

Who’s Your Daddy?

Or: Using Semiotic Tools to Deconstruct Legal Determinations of Who Holds Parenthood Obligations and Privileges

DOI: 10.1007/s11196-008-9097-x

Cite this article as:
Wirth, M.L. Int J Semiot Law (2009) 22: 83. doi:10.1007/s11196-008-9097-x


This paper provides a brief explanation and illustration of the phenomenon of semiotics. It then describes the conceptual tools of semiotics and how lawyers can use semiotics in law to create compelling arguments. Last, the paper applies the tools of semiotics to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court case Ferguson v. McKiernan, 940 A.2d 1236 (Pa. 2008), to reveal the shift in social context that made the lines of legal reasoning behind the outcome appear “self-evident.”

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Dickinson School of LawPenn State UniversityCarlisleUSA