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How lawyers shape the world: a study in legal semiotics
December 14, 2012
Lawyers may indeed shape the world, but how and why they do so is the subject of a new book by Penn State Law faculty authors Jan Broekman and Larry Catá Backer, who recently published Lawyers Making Meaning: The Semiotics of Law in Legal Education II (Springer 2012).
"Think of this book as a contribution to the philosophy of law that is centered on the fundamental problem communication and meaning, but one with deeply practical implications for law and lawyers; consider for example the meaning and implications of a simple statement that recently caused a stir: 'corporations are people too,'” said Larry Catá Backer, who is the W. Richard and Mary Eshelman Faculty Scholar and Professor of Law and International Affairs and teaches classes in constitutional, corporate, and transnational law and policy. Legal semiotics is the study of the philosophy of meaning in law and was developed in part by the late Roberta Kevelson, a Penn State professor who was an influential exponent of important strands of modern legal semiotics, and who established the Penn State Center for Semiotic Research in Law, Government and Politics.