ABSTRACT

In this chapter, I intend to examine causal concepts as they function within the situated context of Egyptian judicial institutions. Causation has been the topic of much research in legal philosophy and theory. I will argue, however, that this was achieved to the detriment of the situated examination of its practical grammar. This grammar, which aims at bringing out the variations and ambiguities of epistemological expressions in common usage, makes it possible to show how such causal concepts acquire a singular relevance according to the contextual conditions of the activities in which they are embedded. Causal ascription then departs the field of nominal coherence and enters that of the deconstruction of the mechanisms whereby people come to identify an activity as part of “the search for causes”, without it being possible to tell in advance that the local, time-bound realization of such an activity will fall under a “general theory of causation”. I therefore intend to treat cause as an epistopic (cf. Introduction; Lynch, 1993: 265308).