I will discuss some of the problems presented by open textured predicates for the semantics of natural language, as well as in legal theory. I will then (i) sketch an account of constraint in common law, (ii) suggest that this account can be adapted to help us understand open textured predicates as well, (iii) talk a bit about the reasoning involved in reaching decisions that satisfy this account of constraint, and (iv) show how this reasoning can be modeled in a simple defeasible logic.
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