By Brian G. Slocum
felony interpretation is outfitted round one key query: via what regular should still felony texts be interpreted? the normal doctrine is that phrases will be given their “ordinary meaning”: phrases in felony texts will be interpreted in mild of authorized criteria of communique. but usually, courts fail to correctly give some thought to context, consult with flawed dictionary definitions, or differently misconceive how the normal that means of phrases will be made up our minds. during this e-book, Brian Slocum builds his argument for a brand new approach to interpretation through asking obtrusive, but principally missed, questions. What makes one specific that means the “ordinary” one, and the way precisely do courts conceptualize the weather of normal meaning? Ordinary Meaning provides a much-needed, revised framework, boldly educating these concerned with the legislation in how the elements of standard which means may still accurately be pointed out and built in our sleek criminal system.
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Additional info for Ordinary Meaning: A Theory of the Most Fundamental Principle of Legal Interpretation
Chapter 4 will argue that some conversational implicatures, viewed as systematic aspects of language rather than being dependent on actual authorial intent, can be determinants of ordinary meaning. For purposes of this chapter, distinctions between “utterance meaning” and “what is communicated” are not relevant if both are reviewed as depending on objective, rather than intentional, determinants of meaning. The second way to view category (3) is through “utterer’s meaning,” which holds that the utterer’s intent determines meaning, regardless of 40 chapter two whether the meaning was recognized via words and syntactic structures or other publicly available indicators of meaning, or, for some, regardless of whether the meaning was recognized at all by the relevant listeners or hearers.
These concerns and motivations may have no direct correspondence to nonlegal interpretation of texts. Nevertheless, the basic intentionalist position on the nature of language and interpretation is the same, regardless of the type of text at issue. In particular, the constitutive claim of intentionalism is that the meaning of a conversational utterance or a text is identical to the speaker or author’s intended meaning (meaning thesis). 1 Undoubtedly, part of the allure of intentionalism is that alternatives to its meaning and interpretation theses are not as intuitive.
Thus, the philosophical concept of literal meaning differs from a proper conception of the ordinary meaning doctrine. 7: Overview of the Book Although the ordinary meaning concept is not coterminous with textualism, the plain meaning rule or literal meaning, it is, like those other concepts, necessarily based on an “objective” view of meaning because its content is based on determinants of meaning other than the content the ordinary meaning doctrine 27 of the author’s communicative intentions. As indicated at the beginning of this chapter, the constituent question of what makes some meaning the ordinary one and the evidential question of how the determinants of ordinary meaning are identified and conceptualized are thus of crucial importance to the interpretation of legal texts.