Graduate studies at Western
|Abstract||We all know that much in our thought and language, as well as much in the law, is vague. We are also reasonably good at recognizing cases of vagueness, even though most of us would be hard pressed to say exactly what vagueness is. In recent decades, there has been a flowering of work in the philosophy of logic and language attempting to do just that. Much of this work focuses on what it is for a word or phrase to be vague. The aim of this effort is to clarify what it is for a claim, question, command, or promise expressed using such a term to be vague, as well as what it is to reason with such terms. Different logico-linguistic theories have different conceptions of the scope of putative laws of classical logic, including bivalence (which states that every declarative sentence or proposition is either true or false) and excluded middle (which asserts all instances of A or ~A). In addition to this work in philosophical logic, recent decades have seen a growing interest in vagueness among legal scholars and philosophers of law. Here the focus is not so much on what legal vagueness is, which is generally assumed to be readily recognizable. Rather, it is on the extent and sources of vagueness in the law, the implications of vagueness for interpretation and adjudication, the systemic effects of vagueness, and the function – i.e. important positive value – of vagueness in certain areas of the law, as opposed to its disutility in others.1 To date, these two investigations of vagueness – in philosophical logic and the philosophy of law – have been largely independent of one another. This independence gives rise to a natural line of questioning. Can work in one domain contribute to work in..|
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