Informace o publikaci

Vagueness and Indeterminateness in Law: Are Judges Humpties Dumpties?



Rok publikování 2022
Druh Článek v odborném periodiku
Časopis / Zdroj International Journal for the Semiotics of Law-Revue Internationale de Semiotique Juridique
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Právnická fakulta

Klíčová slova legal concepts; dynamic lexicon; practice; rules; vagueness; Humpty Dumpty
Přiložené soubory
Popis In this text we will point out that the traditional static conception of meaning is not the best possible approach and introduce competing conceptions of meaning. In this conception, then, meanings or concepts are not static entities but dynamic ones. Their dynamism is determined by the practice of language users. Following this, we will introduce the sources of vagueness and indeterminacy, which, according to the author, are much more fundamental to the law than the sorites paradoxes, to which too much space is devoted. These are multi-dimensional polysemy, open texture and family resemblances. We will not only define these theoretically, but also demonstrate them with practical examples from legal texts or legal practice. In the last section, we will focus on Ludlow's concept of lexical wars, which we will link to Brandom's notion of meaning. We will show that within our use of language we play 'language games' which require rules in order to be played. These rules may not always be explicitly stated, but can be inferred from the practices and critical stances of other players. We then bring these theoretical insights from philosophy and linguistics into the legal context in the last section, where they are used to analyse and explain what actually happens in the interpretation of law.
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