By John Martin Gillroy (auth.)
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Extra resources for An Evolutionary Paradigm for International Law: Philosophical Method, David Hume, and the Essence of Sovereignty
Fifth, and finally, the metaphysical23 nature of “essence” is more specifically defined by philosophical method in terms of a hierarchy of relative and absolute presuppositions. Here, hierarchy means that a series of dialectically interrelated relative presuppositions lead, finally, to an absolute presupposition that defines the source of the concept. The absolute presupposition is the moral primitive of the concept, its source, and the fundamental point of departure for finding its essence. The absolute presupposition is necessary to the concept’s wholeness or integrity; no further presuppositions inform it.
Eristic positivism requires that an idea be definitively classified and assessed without benefit of its inherent dialectic counterarguments. Eristic “debate” assumes that discourse and argument are a contest of established “truths,” each containing an integrity of ideological position that fails if compromised by any admission that opposing arguments contain value. A third characteristic of philosophical method is its focus on philosophical refinement and justification rather than scientific discovery.
In stage one, the philosophical-policy paradigm, drawn from a greater philosophical system derived from a body of scholarship, is considered as a whole, prior to and independent of any application to practice. One begins, not with selected bits and pieces of a philosopher’s writing, but with his or her ideas considered as a dialectically interconnected and synthesized whole logic of concepts. This allows one to approach that philosophy with more integrity than if one extricates selected components of the philosopher’s thought to justify an isolated idea within the context of an otherwise nonphilosophical argument.
An Evolutionary Paradigm for International Law: Philosophical Method, David Hume, and the Essence of Sovereignty by John Martin Gillroy (auth.)