American Journal of Jurisprudence 46 (1):229-248 (2001)

Authors
Timothy Endicott
Oxford University
Abstract
Argues that some important problems in the theory of legal interpretation can be resolved with three techniques that John Finnis used in Natural Law and Natural Rights to address a methodological problem in jurisprudence: (1) The analogy principle: The application of a word such as “friendship” or “law” is not based on a set of features shared by each instance, but is based on similarities of a variety of kinds, seen by the people who use the words as justifying the extension of the word. (2) The paradigm (or central case) principle: You cannot understand a word like “friendship” or “law” without seeing what counts as a good instance of friendship or law. (3) The context principle: What counts as a good instance depends on the context in which the word is to be used, and on the concerns and purposes which justify the use of the word.
Keywords interpretation  analogy  paradigms  context  John Finnis
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DOI 10.1093/ajj/46.1.229
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