13 Dec
16:00 - 18:00

Maastricht Foundations of Law Colloquia

Michele Ubertone, Maastricht University - Title: Questions of Application

The Department of Foundations of Law in the Faculty of Law cordially invites you to the next meeting of our Maastricht Foundations of Law Colloquia. On 13 December our speaker is Michele Ubertone. 

This paper attempts to defend the idea that the distinction between questions of fact and questions of law is not as blurred as some authors suggest. Even if some interrogative sentences can sometimes be read as both questions of law and questions of fact, this does not depend on the vagueness of the distinction. It depends on the ambiguity of those interrogative sentences. In particular, what Timothy Endicott calls 'questions of application' are systematically ambiguous between de facto and de iure interpretation. This article attempts to clarify this distinction by drawing on Robert Stalnaker's notion of pragmatic presupposition. On this basis, it argues that the inability to distinguish this ambiguity can lead to two different kinds of error in legal reasoning: a factualistic error, which consists in treating questions of law as if they were questions of fact, and a legalistic error, which consists in treating questions of fact as if they were questions of law. 

The colloquium’s format is pre-read. Those attending are expected to have read the text in advance. The draft will be circulated in advance.

Lukasz Dziedzic
Sebastian Reyes Molina
Roland Pierik

The colloquia will take place physically and online. The Zoom link for the online sessions will be distributed later.

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