Encyclopedia of the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy

Living Edition
| Editors: Mortimer Sellers, Stephan Kirste

Structuralist Semiotics of Law

  • Anne Wagner
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6730-0_185-1

The structure preface – Text becomes open at both ends. The text has no stable identity, stable origin … each act of reading ‘the text’ is a preface to the next. The reading of a self-professed preface is no exception to this rule (Derrida 1977: xii).


The Language of Law forms a special environment of signs, symbols, meanings, and rhetorical forms. Contrary to some ideas, it is an exceedingly well- and wisely organized product, which evolves according to circumstances of time and space, and historical, political, sociocultural, and purely legal event(s). Structuralism is oblivious to history in its search for what law means. Semiotics is the method that emphasizes the contextual and dynamic nature of meaning and knowledge in a triadic structure, where a “sign stands for an object, not in all respects, but in reference to a sort of idea … the ground,” including all relevant epistemological implications (Peirce 1931: 34).

Cultural Impacts on Legal Language and Legal Semiotics

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Université Lille Nord de France, Centre Droits et Perspectives du Droit, équipe René DemogueLilleFrance

Section editors and affiliations

  • Patricia Mindus
    • 1
  • Sebastian Andres Reyes Molina
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden
  2. 2.Department of PhilosophyUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden