In Geert Keil & Ralf Poscher (eds.), Vagueness and Law. Philosophical and Legal Perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 1-20 (2016)

Authors
Geert Keil
Humboldt-University, Berlin
Abstract
Vague expressions are omnipresent in natural language. As such, their use in legal texts is virtually inevitable. If a law contains vague terms, the question whether it applies to a particular case often lacks a clear answer. One of the fundamental pillars of the rule of law is legal certainty. The determinacy of the law enables people to use it as a guide and places judges in the position to decide impartially. Vagueness poses a threat to these ideals. In borderline cases, the law seems to be indeterminate and thus incapable of serving its core rule of law value. In the philosophy of language, vagueness has become one of the hottest topics of the last two decades. Linguists and philosophers have investigated what distinguishes "soritical " vagueness from other kinds of linguistic indeterminacy, such as ambiguity, generality, open texture, and family resemblance concepts. There is a vast literature that discusses the logical, semantic, pragmatic, and epistemic aspects of these phenomena. Legal theory has hitherto paid little attention to the differences between the various kinds of linguistic indeterminacy that are grouped under the heading of "vagueness ", let alone to the various theories that try to account for these phenomena. The paper is an introduction to a book of the same title. Bringing together leading scholars working on the topic of vagueness in philosophy and in law, the book fosters a dialogue between philosophers and legal scholars by examining how philosophers conceive legal ambiguity from their theoretical perspective and how legal theorists make use of philosophical theories of vagueness.
Keywords vagueness in law  law and language  legal indeterminacy  legal methodology  borderline cases  hard cases in law  Sorites paradox  value of vagueness  semantic and ontic vagueness  pragmatic vagueness
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book Find it on Amazon.com
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,464
External links

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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

A Little Help From Your Friends?Stephen Schiffer - 2001 - Legal Theory 7 (4):421-431.
Vagueness in Psychiatry: An Overview.Geert Keil, Lara Keuck & Rico Hauswald - 2017 - In Geert Keil, Lara Keuck & Rico Hauswald (eds.), Vagueness in Psychiatry. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 3-23.
Law is Necessarily Vague.Timothy Endicott - 2001 - Legal Theory 7 (1):377--83.
Demoting Higher-Order Vagueness.Diana Raffman - 2009 - In Sebastiano Moruzzi & Richard Dietz (eds.), Cuts and Clouds. Vaguenesss, its Nature and its Logic. Oxford University Press. pp. 509--22.
Law’s Capacity for Vagueness.Doris Liebwald - 2013 - International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique 26 (2):391-423.
Vagueness in Law.Timothy A. O. Endicott - 2001 - Oxford University Press UK.
Higher-Order Sorites Paradox.Elia Zardini - 2013 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 42 (1):25-48.
Can Legal Practice Adjudicate Between Theories of Vagueness?Asgeirsson Hrafn - 2016 - In Geert Keil & Ralf Poscher (eds.), Vagueness and Law: Philosophical and Legal Perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 95–126.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2017-02-22

Total views
56 ( #205,011 of 2,520,787 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #405,623 of 2,520,787 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes