European Award for Legal Theory 2002

Matthias Klatt wurde mit dem European Award for Legal Theory 2002 ausgezeichnet. Der Preis wird alle zwei Jahre für die beste Doktorarbeit, die an einer europäischen Universität im Bereich Rechtstheorie vorgelegt wird, vergeben. Um aus einem Gutachten eines Jurymitglieds zu zitieren:

Matthias Klatt uses Brandom’s inferential theory of meaning to refute the indeterminacy objection against legal rules. Once clear cases are defined, the author makes several interesting observations. Here are some examples: Clarity is defeasible. Alexy’s rules of usage are regarded as one form of Brandom’s implicit semantic norms. Knowledge of linguistic meaning is holistic. Language can refer to objects, even if these do not exist.

The author presents a new theory of the limits of the wording of legal rules. A system is developed that distinguishes between eight general and five specific semantic limits. The general correspond to the questions concerning semantic clarity. The specific concern discursive authority; discursive responsibility; truth conditions; foundational statements; and inter-subjective dispositions to understand.

The author concludes with the rehabilitation of semantic argumentation in law. The thesis is very ambitious. Its philosophical foundations are received from Brandom’s theory, yet the author shows originality in his application of Brandom’s inferentialism to legal theory. In this way, he makes a series of valuable distinctions and achieves greater sophistication than most of the previous legal theorists.

Klatt’s book is clear, solid and convincing. It is an original and useful contribution to legal theoretical scholarship.

Matthias Klatt is the winner of the European Award for Legal Theory 2002. This bi-annual award is honouring the best doctoral thesis presented at a European university in legal theory. To quote one of the report of the jury:

Matthias Klatt uses Brandom’s inferential theory of meaning to refute the indeterminacy objection against legal rules. Once clear cases are defined, the author makes several interesting observations. Here are some examples: Clarity is defeasible. Alexy’s rules of usage are regarded as one form of Brandom’s implicit semantic norms. Knowledge of linguistic meaning is holistic. Language can refer to objects, even if these do not exist.

The author presents a new theory of the limits of the wording of legal rules. A system is developed that distinguishes between eight general and five specific semantic limits. The general correspond to the questions concerning semantic clarity. The specific concern discursive authority; discursive responsibility; truth conditions; foundational statements; and inter-subjective dispositions to understand.

The author concludes with the rehabilitation of semantic argumentation in law. The thesis is very ambitious. Its philosophical foundations are received from Brandom’s theory, yet the author shows originality in his application of Brandom’s inferentialism to legal theory. In this way, he makes a series of valuable distinctions and achieves greater sophistication than most of the previous legal theorists.

Klatt’s book is clear, solid and convincing. It is an original and useful contribution to legal theoretical scholarship.