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Leading contemporary essays on interpretation are assembled in this volume, which offsets them against a small number of ""classical"" works from earlier periods. It has long been recognized that textual sources (constitutions, statutes, precedents, commentaries) are central to developed systems of law and that interpretation of such texts is one highly important element in adjudication, legal practice and legal scholarship. Scholars have also contended that the totality of legal activity is ""interpretive"" in a wider sense and debates about objectivity have raged. The reasons for this development are here critically scrutinized.