The use of law

Iain Stewart*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter addresses the application of law. It returns to the concept of law, and not only that of positive law, under a particular conception of ideology - one that has been turned around under a concept of 'closure' so that it will prove to be enough in a critique of law. This is done on the level of 'philosophical foundations', and not only those of sociology. While the argument lies mainly in the philosophy of language, its conclusion may be significant to socio-linguistics as well as being an exploration into the terminology required for the social science of law. Most specifically, the chapter considers the theme: why law cannot be defined and how to do so. The Poverty Paradox is also discussed. In addition, the chapter explores the main current types of theory of positive law, to see whether they contain remarkable error. The chapter also approaches the concept of ideology from the angle of the signified. Furthermore, an explanation for the erstwhile drive to define is provided.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLaw and Sociology
EditorsMichael Freeman
Place of PublicationOxford; New York
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9780191700200
ISBN (Print)0199282544, 9780199282548
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2006


  • Ideology
  • Law
  • Philosophy of language
  • Poverty paradox
  • Social science


Dive into the research topics of 'The use of law'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this