- Hardcover: 350 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (February 8, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0198782888
- ISBN-13: 978-0198782889
- Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 1 x 6.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,258,759 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Vagueness in the Law: Philosophical and Legal Perspectives 1st Edition
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"Keil and Poscher, have usefully brought together leading scholars working on the topic of vagueness in philosophy and in law, this book fosters a dialogue between philosophers and legal scholars by examining how philosophers conceive vagueness in law from their theoretical perspective and how legal theorists make use of philosophical theories of vagueness... It is a great contribution to the continuing debate. - Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor, Richmond Green Chambers
About the Author
Geert Keil, Professor of Philosophy, Humboldt University Berlin,Ralf Poscher, Director at the Institute for Philosophy of Law, Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg
Prof. Dr. Ralf Poscher is director of the Institute for Philosophy of Law at Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg and managing director of the Centre for Security and Society of the University of Freiburg. Prof. Poscher has been a Fernand Braudel Senior Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence (2013), a guest researcher of the "Program in Law and Public Affairs" at Princeton University (2012), a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, USA (2007-2008), and a visiting professor at the University of Osaka (2007). His areas of research cover legal theory, fundamental rights and national security law.
Geert Keil is Professor of Philosophy at Humboldt University of Berlin. His main areas of research are the philosophy of mind and action, epistemology, philosophical anthropology and metaphysics. Awarded with a Heisenberg scholarship of the German Research Foundation (DFG) and a Feodor Lynen scholarship of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, he researched at the Universities of Trondheim, Stanford, and Basel. From 2005 to 2010 he held a chair in theoretical philosophy at RWTH Aachen University.
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Top Customer Reviews
THE RESULTS ARE NOT IN ANY WAY VAGUE FOR THE JURISPRUDENT
An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers
“I can’t remember” is one of the lines we always dread during live testimony because it is that very vagueness which can destroy a case. It’s also very useful when the client is, of course, a “liar” although it is not advised to use such words as its emotive content is enough to anger courts, thus vagueness can be a great excuse… or can it- this book opens up this can of worms and is a great read.
The title emerged from a 4 year research project. Its aim was “to identify and systematize phemomena of vagueness and indeterminacy in different fields of application”. In addition, the project set out to examine such related fields as semantics, ontology and epistemology, whilst developing procedures to deal with blurred boundaries proportionally. The original project title was “Dealing Reasonably with Blurred Boundaries: Vagueness and Indeterminacy as a Challenge for Philosophy and Law”: a bit of a mouthful!
The synopsis has stated that “vague expressions are omnipresent in natural language”, and their use in legal texts is “virtually inevitable”. The main contention then is that “if a law contains vague terms, the question whether it applies to a particular case often lacks a clear answer”.
So, “one of the fundamental pillars of the rule of law is legal certainty”. Keil and Posher conclude that 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” they say and “in borderline cases, the law seems to be indeterminate and thus incapable of serving its core rule of law value”.
The editors continue, writing that “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”.
That there is vast literature which discusses “the logical, semantic, pragmatic, and epistemic aspects of these phenomena” is not in doubt (unfortunately). Legal theory has, in the past paid scant attention to the differences between the various kinds of linguistic indeterminacy that are grouped under the heading of "vagueness " here, let alone to the various theories that try to account for these phenomena.
Keil and Poscher, have usefully brought together leading scholars working on the topic of vagueness in philosophy and in law, this book fosters a dialogue between philosophers and legal scholars by examining how philosophers conceive vagueness in law from their theoretical perspective and how legal theorists make use of philosophical theories of vagueness.
The chapters of the book are organized into 3 parts. Part 1 addresses the import of different theories of vagueness for the law, referring to a wide range of theories from supervaluationist to contextualist and semantic realist accounts in order to address the question of whether the law can learn from engaging with philosophical discussions of vagueness.
Part 2 reviews different vagueness phenomena. The contributions posit that the greater awareness to different vagueness phenomena can make lawyers aware of specific issues and solutions so far overlooked. Then Part 3 deals with the pragmatic aspects of vagueness in law, providing answers to the question of how to deal with vagueness in law and with the professional, political, moral, and ethical issues such vagueness gives rise to.
That vague expressions are unavoidable is undeniable, but the conclusions in the book, fortunately, are not. It is a great contribution to the continuing debate.
The publication date is cited as at 2016.