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Philosophical Foundations of Language in the Law$
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Andrei Marmor and Scott Soames

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199572380

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199572380.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 January 2022

Textualism, Intentionalism, and the Law of the Contract

Textualism, Intentionalism, and the Law of the Contract

(p.130) 7 Textualism, Intentionalism, and the Law of the Contract
Philosophical Foundations of Language in the Law

Gideon Rosen

Oxford University Press

Most philosophical discussions of the relation between language and the law have focused on the interpretation of public law enactments: statutes, constitutional provisions, and administrative regulations. This chapter focuses on the interpretation of contracts. It distinguishes several versions of textualism and intentionalism in the theory of contracts, and argues that versions of both views can be rendered broadly consistent with the main features of Anglo-American contract doctrine. The chapter also argues, in passing, that the correct account of the relation between contract language and the law of the contract cannot be settled by abstract philosophy, but is rather a matter of positive law which may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

Keywords:   interpretation, contract law, textualism, intentionalism, language

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