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Related to Fictions: Legal fictions


An assumption made by a court and embodied in various legal doctrines that a fact or concept is true when in actuality it is not true, or when it is likely to be equally false and true.

A legal fiction is created for the purpose of promoting the ends of justice. A common-law action, for example, allowed a father to bring suit against his daughter's seducer, based on the legal fiction of the loss of her services. Similarly, the law of torts encompasses the legal fiction of the rule of Vicarious Liability, which renders an employer responsible for the civil wrongs of his or her employees that are committed during their course of employment. Even though the employer generally is uninvolved in the actual act constituting the tort, the law holds the employer responsible since, through a legal fiction, he or she is deemed to be in direct control of the employee's actions. A seller of real estate might, for example, be liable in an action for Fraud committed by his or her agent in the course of a sale.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006
References in periodicals archive ?
The class we are born into, the social strata we belong to, the beliefs we hold dear, the aspirations we shared with others, the common good we all believe in are ultimately one or the other forms of fiction we choose from
American Political Fictions is one of a couple of Americanist studies by Peter Swirski in recent years.
Mental states are useful fictions. Recent philosophy of mind has seen a growing interest in mental fictionalism.
His Damon Knight Grand Master Award was given not just in recognition of his fiction writing but also for his deep influence on the genre through essays, editing, and teaching, Gunn's important Road to Science Fiction anthologies expose the context underlying each story and serve as primary texts for SF courses worldwide.
"The Phantom of the Movie Place." A Night at the Movies, Or, You must Remember This: Fictions. Normal, IL: Dalkey, 1992.
He writes: "Chabon isn't just mixing fact and fiction, something all novelists do, going back at least as far as Daniel Defoe; he is creating a fictional memoir and presenting it as real." Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, Journal of the Plague Year, and Moll Flanders are all fictions masquerading as memoirs, as are Gulliver's Travels, The Three Musketeers, and a long list of other classic works of fiction.
Unfortunately, the preferred expedients of the teacher of novels, shorter fictions by canonical authors, are not readily available during the period.
This paper considers the popular culture fields of science fiction and nature writing, exploring the contributions of two American women writers who both operated at the peripheries of science and landed on the 'platform of the powerful': Judith Merril and Rachel Carson.
"The Art Is the Act of Smashing the Mirror: A Conversation with Gilbert Sorrentino." Review of Contemporary Fiction 21.3 (2001): 60-68.
The conventions of writing about crime fiction are nearly as codified as those of the genre itself.
Now let us apply both Lewis's and Walton's treatments to embedded fictions. Suppose a novel to contain a passage like this:
That science fiction and theology intersect in many ways may surprise, but it shouldn't.