The starting point in this book is the writings of Wittgenstein, especially his later philosophy. Wittgenstein has been widely studied in legal philosophy, especially in the Anglo-American tradition. He has been referred to by theorists who believe in the force of linguistic arguments but has also been an inspiration to those who claim that legal texts have no determinate meanings. But no matter how much he has been read, the later Wittgensteinian view of language is still fruitful and adds to our understanding in the fi eld of legal interpretation. It serves well as a starting point also because it is compatible with other theories that are central to this study.
Wittgenstein is one of those philosophers whose thinking has given rise to many opposing interpretations. Rather big differences exist between supporters of the different schools of Wittgenstein research.1 His way of writing is certainly one reason for this, as is also the complexity of the issues he examines. A witty exposition of what the reader should and should not expect when studying Wittgenstein is given by O.K. Bouwsma. He is commenting on Wittgenstein’s The Blue Book, although the same precautions apply to all Wittgenstein’s writings.