Objective Contextual Interpretation
This chapter presents and justifies a normative theory of contract interpretation. It considers the three tasks of contract interpretation in terms of the relevant goals in order to determine which theories should guide performance of each task. In brief, the chapter endorses the parol evidence and four corners rules for identifying a written contract's terms. It endorses objectivism for determining whether a contract term is ambiguous. It also endorses objectivism when a fact-finder resolves any ambiguity that appears. Together, the theory constitutes “objective contextual interpretation.” The chapter concludes with a brief defense of a pluralist theory of contracts, which is the kind of theory that underlies this book.
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