june, 2019

17jun(jun 17)9:00 am18(jun 18)6:00 pmSurrey & Jagiellonian Workshop: Law, Language, and Social Ontology


Event Details

Despite the many controversies about the nature of law, everyone still agrees that law is a social phenomenon; somehow the law is what it is, partly or wholly, in virtue of the way humans act in concert with each other. We make the law together, in some deep ontological sense. It varies, however, which social aspects of the law theorists find most significant and there isn’t necessarily much agreement about how exactly to explain the relevant features. Still, several important concepts/phenomena do keep popping up across topics. Consider for example the issues of democratic decision-making, legislative intent, the nature of social rules, and the function(s) of law as an institution. Not coincidentally, these all depend in some way on the nature – and possibility of – collective intention, which has been the subject of intense-but-scattered debates across the fields of law, philosophy, and linguistics (as well as psychology and AI). A similar story can be told about the concept of artifacts, and – indeed – about a host of other social concepts/phenomena. Questions about social ontology thus loom large in theorizing about law.

Workshop Leaders:

Kenneth Ehrenberg, School of Law (k.ehrenberg@surrey.ac.uk)
Main organizer, Reader in Public Law and Legal Theory

Hrafn Asgeirsson, School of Law (h.asgeirsson@surrey.ac.uk)
Main organizer, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy and Law

Izabela Skoczeń, Jagiellonian University, Krakow (izabela.skoczen@uj.edu.pl)
Co-organizer, Jagiellonian U. Centre for Law, Language, and Philosophy

Marie Newhouse, School of Law (m.newhouse@surrey.ac.uk)
Director of the Surrey Centre for Law and Philosophy (hosting unit)

Workshop Speakers:

Mohammad al Khalidi (York)

George Pavlakos (Glasgow) & Sam Chilovi (Barcelona/LOGOS) – joint

Pawel Banas (Kraków) & Krzysztof Posłajko (Kraków) – joint

Francesca Poggi (Milan)

Kathryn Lindeman (St Louis)


17 (Monday) 9:00 am - 18 (Tuesday) 6:00 pm


University of Surrey

388 Stag Hill, Guildford, GU2 7XH