WITTGENSTEIN’S CONCEPTION OF LANGUAGE AND ITS IMPLICATION FOR JURISPRUDENCE.
The meaning of an expression, or relation between words in general language usage is ascertainable if the special use of language is understood. A major criticism leveled against the language of law has been the idea that the language of law is indecipherable and barely understood by those outside the legal terrain. Most of the criticisms range from the alleged incoherence nature of the language of law, the classified nature of the language of the law, and the technical/restricted nature of the language of law. In clearing these bugs of misconception from the eyes of the critics, this work explores various ideas of Wittgenstein in finding appropriate solutions. This becomes the thrust of this work. In showing how Wittgenstein exonerates the language of law from these vilifying attacks, he thought that a word has its meaning only within the context of its use in a language and, its form of life. From his language-game thesis which forms one of the major bedrock in understanding Wittgenstein’s language ideas, one would readily understand that in order to comprehend the language of law, one must participate in the language game of lawyers. This is not a manipulation of language or of words. Participation in the language game constitutes a special way which enables one, within a language structure, and, with the assistance of the rules of the language, to understand the rational core of the designations of certain terminologies and concepts. In connection with law however, participation in the language-game allows one to be cognitive of the normative meaning of such designations.