Plane Meaning and Thought: Real-World Semantics and Fictions of Originalism

79 Pages Posted: 13 Sep 2014 Last revised: 18 Jul 2015

Date Written: September 10, 2014


This article explores how meaning and thought work in the real-world of human experience. In doing so, it explores five basic planes or levels of such meaning and thought: references, issues, rules, applications of rules, and conclusions. It also explores framing, metaphor, and narrative in constructing such planes or levels of meaning and thought, as well as some basic resulting forms of thought. Additionally, it examines original meaning as a cautionary negative example of how real-world meaning and thought do not and cannot work. Given the flexibility of framing involved in the multiple levels of real-world meaning and thought, originalism cannot sustain its claims of greater objectivity when compared to other interpretive approaches.

Keywords: Semantics, Meaning, Originalism, Original Meaning, Formalism, Formalist, Legal Analysis, Legal Writing, Interpretation, IRAC, CREAC, Frame, Framing, Metaphor, Narrative, Pragmatism, Peirce, William James, Semiotics

JEL Classification: K10

Suggested Citation

Lloyd, Harold Anthony, Plane Meaning and Thought: Real-World Semantics and Fictions of Originalism (September 10, 2014). 24 Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal 657 (2015). Available at SSRN: or

Harold Anthony Lloyd (Contact Author)

Wake Forest University School of Law ( email )

Winston-Salem, NC
United States

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