On 18 October 2015, in Paris, John Rogers Searle and I met at Gare de l’Est, in a café, for an interview on how his theory of social ontology can influence legal theory. Searle was about to leave France to reach Heidelberg, after the Web and Social Reality conference held at the FSMH and co-organized by Maurizio Ferraris, Sara Guindani, Enrico Terrone, and me. The idea of asking John R. Searle what he thinks about legal reality and normativity stems from a growing interest in legal theory and philosophy for ontology, epistemology, and normativity. Such issues are cornerstones of legal discourse and have a strong impact on the interconnection between law, politics, and philosophy of language. Searle’s answers highlight the basic questions at stake in the relationship between language and law and they suggest to insist on such issues through more thorough and broader research, in particular for what concerns the relationship between ontology and epistemology in law and the concept of normativity.
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