David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In Andrei Marmor & Scott Soames (eds.), Philosophical Foundations of Language in the Law. Oxford University Press, Usa (2011)
How can it be valuable to use vagueness in a normative text? The effect is to make a vague norm, and vagueness seems repugnant to the very idea of making a norm. It leaves conduct (to some extent) unregulated, when the very idea of making a norm is to regulate conduct. A vague norm leaves the persons for whom the norm is valid with no guide to their conduct in some cases - and the point of a norm is to guide conduct. A vague norm in a system of norms does not control the officers or officials responsible for applying the norms or resolving disputes - and part of the value of a system of norms is to control the conduct of the persons to whom the system gives normative power. In this essay I will seek to resolve these puzzles, and to show that vagueness can be valuable to lawmakers (and valuable to them, because their use of it is valuable to the people to whom the law is addressed). Far from being repugnant to the idea of making a norm, vagueness is a central technique of normative texts: it is needed in order to pursue the purposes of formulating such texts. Not all norms are vague. But vagueness is of central importance to the very idea of guiding conduct by norms.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Matti Eklund (2008). Deconstructing Ontological Vagueness. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 38 (1):117-140.
Diana Raffman (2009). Demoting Higher-Order Vagueness. In Sebastiano Moruzzi & Richard Dietz (eds.), Cuts and Clouds. Vaguenesss, its Nature and its Logic. Oxford University Press 509--22.
Erte Xiao & Cristina Bicchieri (2012). Words or Deeds? Choosing What to Know About Others. Synthese 187 (1):49-63.
Chad Carmichael (2011). Vague Composition Without Vague Existence. Noûs 45 (2):315-327.
Linda Radzik (2000). Incorrigible Norms: Foundationalist Theories of Normative Authority. Southern Journal of Philosophy 38 (4):633-649.
Richard Holton (2010). Norms and the Knobe Effect. Analysis 70 (3):1-8.
G. H. von Wright (1983). Norms of Higher Order. Studia Logica 42 (2-3):119 - 127.
John R. Welch (2007). Vagueness and Inductive Molding. Synthese 154 (1):147 - 172.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads47 ( #55,450 of 1,699,567 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #206,271 of 1,699,567 )
How can I increase my downloads?