Semiotics is the science of signs. As mysterious as the word may seem, semiotics has become a household term among interpreters of art, music, literature, and now, the law. This chapter explores the basic elements of semiotics, the role that sign theory has played in the law, and the potential use of the semiotic method yet untapped by the legal community. Part I broadly defines semiotics, proposes a definition of legal semiotics, and discusses some of its frequent uses in everyday legal practice. Part II traces the history and development of semiotics as it grew out of the varied disciplines of medicine, philosophy, linguistics, anthropology, and literature. A goal of the chapter is to determine the extent to which these disciplines have made specific contributions to the field of semiotics and the manner in which they have been applied to the law.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.