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[7] There is a different type of question where the dispute is concerned with the term to be applied, which depends on the letter of the law: it is a form of question which can only arise in the courts from the actual words on which the dispute turns. Take as examples the questions, whether suicide is a form of homicide, or whether the man who forces a tyrant to kill himself can be considered a tyrannicide, or whether magical incantations are equivalent to the crime of poisoning. In all these cases there is no doubt about the facts, for it is well known that there is a difference between killing oneself and killing another, between slaying a tyrant and forcing him to suicide, between employing incantations and administering a deadly draught, but we enquire whether we are justified in calling them by the same name.

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load focus Introduction (Harold Edgeworth Butler, 1922)
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