Definitions

Ipso facto

Ipso facto

[ip-soh fak-toh]
Ipso Facto is a Latin phrase, directly translated as by the deed itself, which means that a certain effect is a direct consequence of the action in question, instead of being brought about by a subsequent action such as the verdict of a tribunal. It is a term of art used in philosophy, law and science.

Legal uses

In law, this phrase is frequently employed to convey the idea that something which has been done contrary to law is automatically void. For example, if a married man, during the life of his wife, of which he had knowledge, should marry another woman, the latter marriage would be void ipso facto; that is, on that fact of the permanence of the first marriage being proved, the second marriage would be declared automatically void from the beginning.

Legal use of the phrase by a religion in historical perspective

Ipso facto denotes the automatic character of the loss of membership of a religious body by someone guilty of a specified action.

Within the Roman Catholic Church, the phrase latae sententiae is more commonly used than ipso facto with regard to ecclesiastical penalties such as excommunication. It indicates that the effect follows even if no verdict (in Latin, sententia) is pronounced by an ecclesiastical superior or tribunal.

Other uses

Aside from its technical uses, it occurs frequently in literature, particularly in scholarly addenda: e.g., "Faustus had signed his life away, and was, ipso facto, incapable of repentance." (re: Marlowe, The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus.) or "These prejudices are rooted in the idea that every tramp ipso facto is a blackguard" (re: George Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London).

"Ipso Facto" was also the name of a bimonthly newsletter published by the Association of Computer Experimenters during the late seventies. It was focused on the CDP1802 processor.

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