in jurisprudence describes the phenomenon that legal rules, being a function of language, are similarly subject to constant deferral of meaning. For those subscribing to Hartian jurisprudence, this is explained by accepting that words have a core of certainty and a penumbra of uncertainty. This is said to be consonant with (one of) the linguistic philosophy(s) of Wittgenstein. Modern linguistic philosophers such as Derrida or Barthes probably would find the core of certainty uncertain.

Collins dictionary of law. . 2001.

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