Disjunction, Conjunction and Categories

Conference paper

Weaver, M. (2021). Disjunction, Conjunction and Categories. Society of Legal Scholars Annual Conference 2021. Durham and online 31 Aug - 03 Sep 2021
AuthorsWeaver, M.
TypeConference paper

This paper examines some taken-for-granted themes from an unusual angle. It might be analytical, but (it is hoped) none the worse for that.
We cannot deal only in single instances. Our brains would be overwhelmed. So, we take refuge in generalisations of one kind or another that can be containers into which single instances can conveniently be put. This paper
explores some of the containers we use: sets; categories; norms; rules; principles. With an eye on the notion of a ‘common law method’, it attempts
to illuminate their characteristics and usages. In so doing, it must confront:
(i) separation-combination ambiguity and (ii) conceptions of similarity and difference.
Although concentrating on the ‘how?’ of categorisation, this paper also suggests that, in the necessary categorisation process, we overestimate the separateness, and underestimate the malleability and temporality, of the categories we contrive. In short, the process and its resulting categories are — despite their appearances and common attitudes to them — mind-dependent and not Platonistic.

Keywordsconcepts, categories, interpretation, mind-dependency
Accepted author manuscript
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Publication dates
Print31 Aug 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted31 Jul 2021
Deposited20 Sep 2022
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