By John Martin Gillroy (auth.)

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Additional resources for An Evolutionary Paradigm for International Law: Philosophical Method, David Hume, and the Essence of Sovereignty

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In this way, Hume’s definition of justice is necessarily process-based. Explaining the genesis and evolution of moral obligation from empirical behavior Hume demonstrates that social convention comes about through human interactions, creating allegiance to those normative standards that work to facilitate collective action over a long term. In effect, practical passions are applied in the world through an evolving practice that allows stable human coordination to progress up a scale of forms from the genesis of small-scale family relations to state and then interstate levels of social organization.

For Hume, human nature is not atomistic but universal; it is not static but evolutionary. Not dominated by a single predisposition or set of unbending principles that require eristic argument, human nature forms, and is formed, through the dialectic interaction of inherent characteristics as these adapt to context. Hume’s individual is a creature of circumstance, immersed in a multifaceted world that does not succumb to any static classification or dichotomies. Hume’s definition of justice and the core component of his approach to human nature pits practical rationality against the barriers to cooperative interaction where the level of sanctions necessary to maintain collective action are continually adjusted.

The combined use of philosophical-policy with legal design generates insights that are consistent with both the spirit and the letter of the philosopher’s original system of ideas, as well as the facts-on-the-ground. Intended to be inclusive, the two-stage method of philosophical-policy and legal design can describe the integrated application of any philosophical paradigm or system to the context of politics, public policy, or the law, with the objective of transcending its prevailing intellectual environment so as to identify its source, locus, and scope anew.

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