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The Nature of Legal Interpretation – What Jurists Can Learn about Legal Interpretation from Linguistics and Philosophy - Chicago Scholarship Online
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The Nature of Legal Interpretation: What Jurists Can Learn about Legal Interpretation from Linguistics and Philosophy

Brian G. Slocum

Abstract

Language shapes and reflects how we think about the world. It engages and intrigues us. Our everyday use of language is quite effortless — we are all experts on our native tongues. Despite this, issues of language and meaning have long flummoxed the judges on whom we depend for the interpretation of our most fundamental legal texts. Should a judge feel confident in defining common words in the texts without the aid of a linguist? How is the meaning communicated by the text determined? Should the communicative meaning of texts be decisive, or at least influential? To fully engage and probe thes ... More

Keywords: linguistics, legal interpretation, constitutional interpretation, philosophy of language, Gadamer, statutory interpretation, semantics, pragmatics, law and language, deferentialism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780226445021
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2018 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226445168.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Brian G. Slocum, editor
University of the Pacific