• Claim: artistic interpretation in our culture is constructive interpretation. How could the interpretation of social practices aim to discover anything like an author’s intention? (Remember: the objection argues that interpretation must be neutral and therefore that the interpreter must aim to discover someone else’s motives and purposes.)    What sense can we make of this in context of social interpretation? Two possibilities:
    • Social practice interpr = discovering purposes or intentions of other participants in the practice, like, e.g., citizens of courtesy.
      • But, social practice creates and assumes crucial distinction between interpreting acts and thoughts of participants one by one and interpreting practice itself. Important distinction because participations DO NOT always agree on best interpretation of practice.
    • Social practice interpr = discovering purposes of community that houses the practice.
  • So, remember, began discussion by objection that constructive account of creative interpretation wrong because creative interpr always conversational interpretation. That objection FAILS for interpretation of social practices even more dramatically than it fails for artistic interpretation.
  • Didn’t get this end of chapter too well (pg 65)


  • Must now refine constructive interpretation into an instrument fir for study of law as social practice. Must be three stages of interpretation:
    • “Pre-interpretive” stage: where rules and standards taken to provide tentative content of the practice are identified (equivalent literary stage is where book is identified textually). Great degree of consensus needed here.
    • Interpretive stage: interpreter settles on some general justification for main elements of the practice identified at pre-interpretive stage, need not cover all, but enough.
    • Post-interpretive stage: one adjusts his sense of what practice “really” requires so as better to serve the justification he accepts at the interpretive stage.
  • Actual interpretation much less deliberate and structured than this analytical structure suggests, it would all happen at once in “seeing”.
  • What someone needs to interpret something:
    • Needs assumptions about what counts as part of the practice to define raw data (pre-interpretive). Members of same interpretive community must share roughly same assumptions about this.
    • Needs convictions about how far justification he proses at interpretive stage must fit the standing features of practice to count as interpretation of it rather than invention of something new.
    • Needs more substantive convictions about which kinds of justification really would show practice in best light, judgments about whether social ranks are desirable or deplorable, eg. the case agaisnt abogados de accidentes firm in Florida