Hohfeld on Legal Language
Cambridge University Press
UVA Law Faculty Affiliations
Wesley Newcomb Hohfeld is well-known for maintaining that various terms in law – “rights,” most prominently – confusingly designate a number of quite different legal relationships. But what is the source of the confusion? Is it that the terms themselves are vague or ambiguous, thus making them susceptible to multiple meanings? Or is it that the lawyers, judges, and commentators who use such terms are loose thinkers, needing careful analysis in order to clear their minds and their thoughts? Or is it something else?
Frederick Schauer, Hohfeld on Legal Language, in Shyamkrishna Balganesh, Ted M. Sichelman, & Henry E. Smith Wesley Hohfeld A Century Later: Edited Work, Select Personal Papers, and Original Commentaries, Cambridge University Press, 99–111 (2022).