Ino Augsberg?s comment - a few remarks

Author:Geir Stenseth
Pages:118-118
 
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118 ANCILLAIURIS(anci.ch)2008:118Comment
Whenwetakeacloselookatapotentiallyinterestingre
searchobject,wealwaysrealizethatitispartofawebof
symbioticrelationships.Itisimpossibletoinvestigateall
theserelationshipssimultaneously.Inordertoconductme
aningfulstudies,wehavetoisolateone,orafew,features
ofthephenomenonatatime.Fromthere,wecanaddsuch
newknowledgetothealreadyaccumulatedknowledgeof
thephenomenon,whichinturnmayleadtobetterinsights
intothewebofrelationshipsasawhole.
Whatitmeanstobethemoreenergizedperspectivefor
study,i.e.whatpartofaphenomenonitissuitabletopick
outandisolateforadeeperstudy,dependsonmanyhete
rogeneousparameters(time,place,tradition,individualex
perience,etc.).Forinstance,whenyourepeatedlyrealize,
bothinthecourtroomandinlegaltexts,howsensitively
peopletendtoreacttopropertyinterventions,thepheno
menonstandsoutasaninterestingresearchobject.Inde
pendentofhowyoumayviewthepurposeofthelawas
agoverningprocess,asaguarantyforhumanintegrity,or
assomethingelseitmustbeanadvantagefortheactorsin
thelegalsystemtostrengthentheirknowledgeofhowpeo
pletendtoreacttothesystemsfundamentalconcepts.Itis
notradicaltoclaimthatthelegalsystemcouldbenefitfrom
knowledgepertainingtohowpeoplereason.AndasIread
Ausbergscomments,healsograntslegalrelevanceto
knowledgegeneratedinthelifesciencesandbehavioral
economics.
Thewaysinwhichwecomprehendsuchknowledgeas
relevantforanormativesystemlikethelawisaquestionof
howwevaluatedifferentfactualconsequences.Takeanex
pressionlikethis:Weoughttoshapepropertylawina
waythatacknowledgesfundamentalhumanneedsfor
stableanddurableprotectionforpossessions. Onestan
dardproargumentforsuchastatementis:Itwillreduce
theuseofforceneededtoimplementthelaw.Onestan
dardcontraargumentagainstsuchastatementis:Itwill
leadtofeweropportunitiesfordistributivejustice.Inthis
case,therelevanceoftheargumentdependsonhowdiffe
rentpeoplevaluetheoutcomeifthedifferentarguments
arerealized.Itispresumable,though,thatmostofthepar
ticipantsinthelegaldebatewillfindthefirstargumentof
somerelevance.Accordingly,aninvestigationofthevalidi
tyoftheargumentindifferentsituationsshouldalsobeof
benefit.1
Mytextshowshowindividualpsychologicalfindings
inlifescienceandbehavioraleconomicsmayleadtoamore
differentiatedviewonhowpeoplecomprehendvarioussi
tuationsofpossession.Theanalysisleadstoagradualmo
del,questioningthestrengthoftheindividualpsychologi
calargumentinsignificantareasofthelaw.Inshort,the
modeldealswiththedifferingdegreesofsignificancethat
canbeattributedtoargumentsderivedfromthepossessor
objectdimensionrelativetotheargumentsderivedfrom
thethirdpartiesobjectdimension.Thisnecessarilyrecog
nizes,notexcludes,otherargumentswhenweareconfron
tedwithalegalpropertyproblem.Augsbergseemstolose
sightofthis,asheisinsteadoccupiedbydescribingthemo
delasuncompromisingessentialism withanarrowed
perspective.Iwelcomesociologicallyandsocialhistori
callyoriented arguments,asAugsbergcallsfor,along
withallothervalidandrelevantarguments,bothindiscus
sionsofpropertyandinotherareasofthelegalsphere.Du
ringsuchdiscussionsweshouldnotclaimanyknowledge
tobeconcrete,nordenythepossibilityofmultipleanswers
toagivenproblem,butrathergivedueconsiderationto
everyvalidandrelevantargument.
1Ihereusetheconceptsofrelevanceandvalidity fornormative
argumentsinaccordancewithArneNaess,Communicationand
Argument:ElementsofAppliedSemantics(translatedfromthe
NorwegianbyAlastairHannay,revisedandeditedbyHarold
Glasserincooperationwiththeauthorandwithassistancefrom
AlanDrengson),in:HaroldGlasser(serieseditor),TheSelected
Work sofArneNaess,Vo lum eVII(Dordrecht,2005),pp.84–95.
ForreaderswhomastertheScandinavianlanguages,adiscussion
oftheapplicabilityofNaess conceptstolegalargumentsis
broughtforwardinGeirStenseth,Omrelevansogvektmen
manglendeholdbarhetforjuridiskeargumenter,LovogRett
(Norwegianlegaljournal)2003,pp.131–145.
InoAugsberg’scommentafewremarks
GeirStenseth

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