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  1. Purposes in Law and in Life: An Experimental Investigation of Purpose Attribution.Almeida Guilherme, Joshua Knobe, Noel Struchiner & Ivar Hannikainen - forthcoming - Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence.
    There has been considerable debate in legal philosophy about how to attribute purposes to rules. Separately, within cognitive science, there has been a growing body of research concerned with questions about how people ordinarily attribute purposes. Here, we argue that these two separate fields might be connected by experimental jurisprudence. Across four studies, we find evidence for the claim that people use the same criteria to attribute purposes to physical objects and to rules. In both cases, purpose attributions appear to (...)
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  2. Statutory Interpretation as Argumentation.Douglas Walton, Giovanni Sartor & Fabrizio Macagno - 2018 - In Colin Aitken, Amalia Amaya, Kevin D. Ashley, Carla Bagnoli, Giorgio Bongiovanni, Bartosz Brożek, Cristiano Castelfranchi, Samuele Chilovi, Marcello Di Bello, Jaap Hage, Kenneth Einar Himma, Lewis A. Kornhauser, Emiliano Lorini, Fabrizio Macagno, Andrei Marmor, J. J. Moreso, Veronica Rodriguez-Blanco, Antonino Rotolo, Giovanni Sartor, Burkhard Schafer, Chiara Valentini, Bart Verheij, Douglas Walton & Wojciech Załuski (eds.), Handbook of Legal Reasoning and Argumentation. Cambridge University Press. pp. 519-560.
    This chapter proposes a dialectical approach to legal interpretation, consisting of three dimensions: a formalization of the canons of interpretation in terms of argumentation schemes; a dialectical classification of interpretive schemes; and a logical and computational model for comparing the arguments pro and contra an interpretation. The traditional interpretive maxims or canons used in both common and civil law are translated into defeasible patterns of arguments, which can be evaluated through sets of corresponding critical questions. These interpretive argumentation schemes are (...)
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  3. Interpretive Arguments and the Application of the Law.Jose Juan Moreso & Samuele Chilovi - 2018 - In G. Bongiovanni, G. Postema, A. Rotolo, G. Sartor, C. Valentini & D. Walton (eds.), Handbook of Legal Reasoning and Argumentation. Springer. pp. 495-517.
    Some philosophers have recently emphasized the similarities between lawmaking and the production of linguistic utterances in ordinary communication. Based on these similarities, they have defended a theory of legal interpretation that identifies the legal content of a lawmaking act with the communicative content of the authoritative “utterance”. While different versions of the theory differ with respect to which level of utterance content they regard as relevant, they agree that the theory’s scope is fully general in that it applies to all (...)
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  4. An Arugmentation Framework for Contested Cases of Statutory Interpertation.Douglas Walton, Giovanni Sartor & Fabrizio Macagno - 2016 - Artificial Intelligence and Law 24 (1):51-91.
    This paper proposes an argumentation-based procedure for legal interpretation, by reinterpreting the traditional canons of textual interpretation in terms of argumentation schemes, which are then classified, formalized, and represented through argument visualization and evaluation tools. The problem of statutory interpretation is framed as one of weighing contested interpretations as pro and con arguments. The paper builds an interpretation procedure by formulating a set of argumentation schemes that can be used to comparatively evaluate the types of arguments used in cases of (...)
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  5. Legal Interpretation Without Truth.Pierluigi Chiassoni - 2016 - Revus 29.
    The paper purports to provide an analytical treatment of the truth and legal interpretation issue. In the first part, it lays down a conceptual apparatus meant to capture the main aspects of the legal interpretation phenomenon, with particular attention paid to the several kinds of linguistic outputs resulting from interpretive activities. In the second part, it recalls three different notions of truth, focussing, so far as systemic truth is concerned, on the difference between deductive and rhetorical normative systems. In the (...)
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  6. Interpretative Disputes, Explicatures, and Argumentative Reasoning.Fabrizio Macagno & Alessandro Capone - 2016 - Argumentation 30 (4):399-422.
    The problem of establishing the best interpretation of a speech act is of fundamental importance in argumentation and communication in general. A party in a dialogue can interpret another’s or his own speech acts in the most convenient ways to achieve his dialogical goals. In defamation law this phenomenon becomes particularly important, as the dialogical effects of a communicative move may result in legal consequences. The purpose of this paper is to combine the instruments provided by argumentation theory with the (...)
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  7. Minimal Semantics and Legal Interpretation.Izabela Skoczeń - 2016 - International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique 29 (3):615-633.
    In this paper I will tackle three issues. First, I aim to briefly outline the backbone of semantic minimalism, while focusing on the idea of ‘liberal truth conditions’ developed by Emma Borg in her book ‘Minimal Semantics’. Secondly, I will provide an account of the three principal views in legal interpretation: intentionalism, textualism and purposivism. All of them are based on a common denominator labelled by lawyers ‘literal meaning’. In the paper I suggest a novel way of viewing this common (...)
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  8. Interpretation, Injustice, and Integrity.Trs Allan - 2016 - Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 36 (1):58-82.
    Common law adjudication exemplifies a conception of law that gives pride of place to legal principle. Dworkin’s account, however, occupies an unstable position between competing legal philosophies, undermining his defence of ‘integrity’. When the internal, interpretative viewpoint is consistently maintained, the criteria for identifying the law’s requirements give assurance of their moral bindingness: legal practice seeks convergence on a sufficient approximation to justice to ensure legitimacy. The critical features of legal practice are those that the correct interpretation, sensitive to moral (...)
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  9. Why Originalism Needs Critical Theory: Democracy, Language, and Social Power.Annaleigh Curtis - 2015 - Harvard Journal of Law and Gender 38 (2):437-459.
    I argue here that the existence of hermeneutical injustice as a pervasive feature of our collective linguistic and conceptual resources undermines the originalist task at two levels: one procedural, one substantive. First, large portions of society were (and continue to be) systematically excluded from the process of meaning creation when the Constitution and its Amendments were adopted, so originalism relies on enforcement of a meaning that was generated through an undemocratic process. Second, the original meaning of some words in those (...)
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  10. The Application of Paul Ricoeur’s Theory in Interpretation of Legal Texts and Legally Relevant Human Action.Marcin Pieniążek - 2015 - International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique 28 (3):627-646.
    The article presents possible applications of Paul Ricoeur’s theory in interpretation of legal texts and legally relevant human action. One should notice that Paul Ricoeur developed a comprehensive interpretation theory of two seemingly distant phenomena: literary texts and human action. When interrelating these issues, it becomes possible, on the basis of Ricoeur’s work, to construct a unified theory of the interpretation of legal texts and of legally relevant human action. What is provided by this theory for jurisprudence is the possibility (...)
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  11. A Matter of Principle.Ronald M. Dworkin (ed.) - 1985 - Oxford University Press UK.
    A selection of important writings which together suggest that legal philosophy is the nerve of legal reasoning.
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  12. Interpretative Importance of Legal Principles for the Understanding of Legal Texts.Marijan Pavčnik - 2015 - Archiv für Rechts- Und Sozialphilosophie 101 (1):52-59.
    Law is a system of legal rules and legal principles. The distinction between them is a relative one. Always such definite major and minor premises are to be formed that the case can be subsumed under the rule and a conclusion, which includes the decision, can be drawn. This applies to legal principles that are operationalised by legal rules as well as to statutory forms of legal rules, which are often open as to their meaning and/or contain definitions that comprise (...)
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  13. Focusing the Law What Legal Interpretation is Not.Martin Stone - 1994 - Faculty of Law, University of Toronto.
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  14. Interpretation in Legal Theory.Andrei Marmor (ed.) - 1990 - Hart Publishing.
    Chapter 1: An Introduction: The ‘Semantic Sting’ Argument Describes Dworkin’s theory as concerning the conditions of legal validity. “A legal system is a system of norms. Validity is a logical property of norms in a way akin to that in which truth is a logical property of propositions. A statement about the law is true if and only if the norm it purports to describe is a valid legal norm…It follows that there must be certain conditions which render certain norms, (...)
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  15. Some Introductory Remarks on Legal Interpretation and Legal Reasoning. A Philosophical Approach.Aldo Schiavello - 2006 - Etica E Politica 8 (1):1-11.
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  16. Vagueness, Counterfactual Intentions, and Legal Interpretation.Natalie Stoljar - 2001 - Legal Theory 7 (4):447-465.
    "My argument is as follows. In the first section, I sketch briefly the ways in which intentionalism might provide a solution to the problem of vagueness. The second section describes the different areas in which counterfactuals must be invoked by intentionalism. In the third section I point out that on a classic analysis of counterfactuals - that of David Lewis and Robert Stalnaker - the truth conditions of counterfactuals depend on relations of similarity among possible worlds. Since similarity is vague, (...)
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  17. The Nine Lives of Legal Interpretation.Bruce Anderson - 2010 - Journal of Macrodynamic Analysis 5:30-36.
    Legal scholars talk and write about interpretation in terms of the meaningof words, and for many legal philosophers legal interpretation involvessubsuming particular situations under general rules. However, the more youexamine legal interpretation the more confusing the whole idea ofinterpretation becomes. The aim of this paper is to use Bernard Lonergan'sdiscussion of functional specialization to make sense of this disorderlystate of affairs.
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  18. Interpretation of Law and Judges Communities.Marek Zirk-Sadowski - 2012 - International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique 25 (4):473-487.
    The principle of omnia sunt interpretanda refers to the derivational conception and derivational theory of interpretation. The principle appears in disputes concerning the role of a judge in the process of interpretation, and this has produced an effect that Polish theory of law is currently getting closer to the conceptions presented in the American debate on activism and textualism. In the practice of jurisdiction, the principle of omnia sunt interpretanda is mostly invoked outside theoretical context. It becomes a manifestation of (...)
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  19. Marmor on Meaning, Interpretation, and Legislative Intention.Jeffrey Goldsworthy - 1995 - Legal Theory 1 (4):439-464.
    In his recent book Interpretation and Legal Theory , Andrei Marmor makes a number of claims about meaning and interpretation, both in general and in law, which I will argue are mistaken. Actually, there is some confusion in his book between what I take to be his “official” view of the nature of meaning and interpretation, and a very different view which keeps surfacing despite his official rejection of it. I will argue that this alternative, rejected view, when properly developed, (...)
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  20. Evidence and Legal Reasoning: On the Intertwinement of the Probable and the Reasonable.Hannu Tapani Klami, Johanna Sorvettula & Minna Hatakka - 1991 - Law and Philosophy 10 (1):73 - 107.
    The facts to be proven in a lawsuit can be more or less probable. But the recognition of the relevant facts may require discretion or evaluative operations; moreover, a just and equitable interpretation of a contract may depend on what the contracting parties knew about the intentions of each other. Can, e.g., negligence be more or less probable? Can Ought be proven? There is, however, a structural similarity between legal interpretation and the evalution of evidence and not only an intertwinement (...)
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  21. Defeasibility, Axiological Gaps, and Interpretation.Riccardo Guastini - 2012 - In Jordi Ferrer Beltrán & Giovanni Battista Ratti (eds.), The Logic of Legal Requirements: Essays on Defeasibility. Oxford University Press.
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  22. Review: The Interpretive Turn. [REVIEW]Ken Kress - 1987 - Ethics 97 (4):834 - 860.
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  23. Legal Interpretation, Morality, and Semantic Fetishism.Amir Horowitz - 2000 - American Philosophical Quarterly 37 (4):335 - 357.
  24. Argumentation and Interpretation in Law.Neil Maccormick - 1993 - Ratio Juris 6 (1):16-29.
  25. Between Authority and Interpretation: On the Theory of Law and Practical Reason.Joseph Raz (ed.) - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
    Can there be a theory of law? -- Two views of the nature of the theory of law : a partial comparison -- On the nature of law -- The problem of authority : revisiting the service conception -- About morality and the nature of law -- Incorporation by law -- Reasoning with rules -- Why interpret? -- Interpretation without retrieval -- Intention in interpretation -- Interpretation : pluralism and innovation -- On the authority and interpretation of constitutions : some (...)
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  26. Case Interpretation.Shawn J. Bayern - unknown
    This Article develops an approach to constructing the meaning of prior court cases that is more helpful than formalistic, conventional distinctions between concepts like "holdings" and "dicta." Instead of trying to classify judicial announcements into categories, courts should engage in a broader interpretive inquiry when confronting prior cases. Determining what a judicial opinion stands for requires determining the intent that motivated the opinion, as carefully understood in light of the factual and argumentative context that gave rise to it. Under this (...)
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  27. Legal Realism, Critical Legal Studies, and Dworkin.Andrew Altman - 1986 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 15 (3):205-235.
  28. Legal Theory, Legal Interpretation, and Judicial Review.David O. Brink - 1988 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 17 (2):105-148.
    I argue that disputes within constitutional theory about whether recent supreme court decisions exceed the scope of legitimate judicial review and disputes within legal theory about the nature and determinacy of law are best seen and assessed as disputes over the nature of legal interpretation. I criticize the interpretive assumptions on which these disputes generally depend and defend a theory of interpretation which tends to vindicate the determinacy of law even in hard cases and the style of recent court decisions (...)
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  29. Interpretation and Coherence in Legal Reasoning.Julie Dickson - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  30. Judicial Discretion.Ronald Dworkin - 1963 - Journal of Philosophy 60 (21):624-638.
  31. Justice in Robes.Ronald Dworkin (ed.) - 2006 - Belknap Press.
    In the course of that critical study he discusses the work of many of the most influential lawyers and philosophers of the era, including Isaiah Berlin, Richard ...
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  32. Taking Rights Seriously.Ronald Dworkin (ed.) - 1977 - Duckworth.
    This is the first publication of these ideas in book form. 'It is a rare treat--important, original philosophy that is also a pleasure to read.
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  33. Putting Interpretation in its Place.Timothy A. O. Endicott - 1994 - Law and Philosophy 13 (4):451 - 479.
    What can a philosophical analysis of the concept of interpretation contribute to legal theory? In his recent book,Interpretation and Legal Theory, Andrei Marmor proposes a complex and ambitious analysis as groundwork for his positivist assault on “interpretive” theories of law and of language. I argue (i) that the crucial element in Marmor's analysis of interpretation is his treatment of Ludwig Wittgenstein's remarks on following rules, and (ii) that a less ambitious analysis of interpretation than Marmor's can take better advantage of (...)
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  34. Dworkin on Judicial Discretion: Comments.Gerald C. MacCallum - 1963 - Journal of Philosophy 60 (21):638-641.
  35. Raz on Constitutional Interpretation.Jeffrey Goldsworthy - 2003 - Law and Philosophy 22 (2):167-193.
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  36. Dworkin's Constructive Optimism V. Deconstructive Legal Nihilism.David Couzens hoy - 1987 - Law and Philosophy 6 (3):321 - 356.
    Minimally helpful comparison of constructive interpretation with Gadamer, Derrida, and Habermas. Presents a somewhat imprecise account of Dworkin, a quite general discussion of his similarities with Gadamer, and a gloss of Derridean deconstruction with regards to the Declaration of Independence. Then offers an evaluation of Dworkin in terms of Gadamer and Derrida.
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  37. Coherence, Hypothetical Cases, and Precedent.S. L. Hurley - 2006 - In Scott Hershovitz (ed.), Exploring Law's Empire: The Jurisprudence of Ronald Dworkin. Oxford University Press. pp. 221-251.
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  38. Evidence and Legal Reasoning: On the Intertwinement of the Probable and the Reasonable. [REVIEW]Hannu Tapani Klami, Johanna Sorvetulla & Minna Hatakka - 1991 - Law and Philosophy 10 (1):73 - 107.
    The facts to be proven in a lawsuit can be more or less probable. But the recognition of the relevant facts may require discretion or evaluative operations; moreover, a just and equitable interpretation of a contract may depend on what the contracting parties knew about the intentions of each other. Can, e.g., negligence be more or less probable? Can Ought be proven? There is, however, a structural similarity between legal interpretation and the evalution of evidence and not only an intertwinement (...)
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  39. Reconstructing Legal Theory.David Lyons - 1987 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 16 (4):379-393.
  40. Global Concepts, Local Rules, Practices of Adjudication and Ronald Dworkin’s Law as Integrity.Alan R. Madry - 2004 - Law and Philosophy 24 (3):211-238.
  41. Objectivity, Interpretation, and Rights: A Critique of Dworkin. [REVIEW]Jon Mahoney - 2004 - Law and Philosophy 23 (2):187-222.
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  42. Law and Interpretation: Essays in Legal Philosophy.Andrei Marmor (ed.) - 1995 - Oxford University Press.
    Interest in interpretation has emerged in recent years as one of the main intellectual paradigms of legal scholarship. This collection of new essays in law and interpretation provides the reader with an overview of this important topic, written by some of the most distinguished scholars in the field. The book begins with interpretation as a general method of legal theorizing, and thus provides critical assessment of the recent "interpretative turn" in jurisprudence. Further chapters include essays on the nature of interpretation, (...)
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  43. Skepticism and Legal Interpretation.Daniel O. Nathan - 1990 - Erkenntnis 33 (2):165 - 189.
  44. “Protestant” Interpretation and Social Practices.Gerald Postema - 1987 - Law and Philosophy 6 (3):283 - 319.
    In general, offers a good discussion of Dworkin's theory of interpretation. Postema is critically concerned with whether Dworkin commits himself to individualistic and privatistic sense of interpretation and how Dworkin articulates the logical independency of pre-interpretive paradigm instances or social facts which form the object of interpretation and the end which is interpretively posited in the act of interpretation. Criticisms, for the most part, appear to be compatible with Dworkin's overall theory and may simply be additional explication of the character (...)
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  45. Elmer's Case: A Legal Positivist Replies to Dworkin. [REVIEW]Charles Silver - 1987 - Law and Philosophy 6 (3):381 - 399.
    I have argued that Legal Positivism can accommodate the existence oftheoretical disagreements in law and that Ronald Dworkin is wrongto claim otherwise. As far as Legal Positivists are concerned, evenjudges who differ over both the truth of propositions of law and thegrounds or sources of law can have a legal duty to resolve their dis-agreements on the basis of legal arguments. The duty exists whenconventional legal practice creates it. Moreover, all Anglo-Americanlegal systems impose the duty on judges because all such (...)
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Statutory Interpretation
  1. Legislation as Legal Interpretation: The Role of Legal Expertise and Political Representation.Attila Mráz - 2022 - In Francesco Ferraro & Silvia Zorzetto (eds.), Exploring the Province of Legislation: Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives in Legisprudence. Dordrecht: pp. 33-56.
    While some descriptive and normative theories of legislation account for an extensive role of legal interpretation in legislation, others see its legislative role as marginal. Yet in contemporary constitutional democracies, where legislation is limited and guided by constitutional norms, as well as international and supranational law, legal interpretation must play some role in legislation—even if all or most of legislative activity may not be adequately described and evaluated as legal interpretation. In this chapter, I aim to explore some implications of (...)
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  2. Definitions in Law.Fabrizio Macagno - 2010 - Bulletin Suisse de Linguistique Appliquée 2:199-217.
    Legal definitions will be examined from three perspectives: their pragmatic function, their propositional structure, and their argumentative role. In law, definitions can be used for different pragmatic purposes: they can be uttered to describe a concept, or to establish a new meaning for a term. The propositional content of definitional speech acts can be different. In law, like in ordinary conversation, there might be different types of definition: we can define by providing examples, or showing the fundamental characteristics of the (...)
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  3. An Argumentation Framework for Contested Cases of Statutory Interpretation.Fabrizio Macagno, Giovanni Sartor & Douglas Walton - 2016 - Artificial Intelligence and Law 24 (1):51-91.
    This paper proposes an argumentation-based procedure for legal interpretation, by reinterpreting the traditional canons of textual interpretation in terms of argumentation schemes, which are then classified, formalized, and represented through argument visualization and evaluation tools. The problem of statutory interpretation is framed as one of weighing contested interpretations as pro and con arguments. The paper builds an interpretation procedure by formulating a set of argumentation schemes that can be used to comparatively evaluate the types of arguments used in cases of (...)
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  4. Arguments of Statutory Interpretation and Argumentation Schemes.Fabrizio Macagno & Douglas Walton - 2017 - International Journal of Legal Discourse 1 (21):47–83.
    In this paper it is shown how certain defeasible argumentation schemes can be used to represent the logical structure of the most common types of argument used for statutory interpretation both in civil and common law. The method is based on an argumentation structure in which the conclusion, namely, the meaning attributed to a legal source, is modeled as a claim that needs that is be supported by pro and con defeasible arguments. The defeasible nature of each scheme is shown (...)
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  5. Statutory Interpretation: Pragmatics and Argumentation.Douglas Walton, Fabrizio Macagno & Giovanni Sartor - 2021 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    Statutory interpretation involves the reconstruction of the meaning of a legal statement when it cannot be considered as accepted or granted. This phenomenon needs to be considered not only from the legal and linguistic perspective, but also from the argumentative one - which focuses on the strategies for defending a controversial or doubtful viewpoint. This book draws upon linguistics, legal theory, computing, and dialectics to present an argumentation-based approach to statutory interpretation. By translating and summarizing the existing legal interpretative canons (...)
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