The Sovereignty of Law presents Trevor Allan's most recent and fully elaborated defence of common law constitutionalism - an account of the unwritten or non-codified constitution as a complex articulation of legal and moral principles, defining what in the British context are the requirements of the rule of law. The British constitution is conceived as a coherent set of fundamental principles of the rule of law, legislative supremacy, and separation of powers. These principles.
This chapter distinguishes Just Peace from its closest ‘moral’ neighbours — a stable peace and positive peace. Drawing on both consequentialist and deontological considerations, Allan develops an international ethical scale to evaluate different acts from a moral standpoint, with different levels of conflict as the baseline of ethical behavior. The more extreme the discord, the worse it is considered on the scale; the more harmonious, the better. Arguing that absolute unhappiness and absolute happiness are not of this world, (...) class='Hi'>Allan presents eight intermediary moral situations, each being superseded by the next one in ethical terms: genocide, war, non-war, Just War, stable peace, Just Peace, positive peace, and Global Care. He develops an ethic of ‘global care’ based on feminist theories of care, religious and secular declarations on a global ethic, evolutionary theory arguments, and a critique of a liberal human rights approach. (shrink)
In this concluding chapter, Allan and Keller posit that Just Peace should be defined as a process resting on four necessary and sufficient conditions: thin recognition whereby the other is accepted as autonomous; thick recognition whereby identities need to be accounted for; renouncement, requiring significant sacrifices from all parties; and rule, the objectification of a Just Peace by a ‘text’ requiring a common language respecting the identities of each, and defining their rights and duties. This approach, based on a (...) language-oriented process amongst directly concerned parties, goes beyond liberal and culturalist perspectives. By moving beyond the idea of a peace founded on norms claiming universal scope, each side of a conflict has a place at the negotiating table to present their own perspective on what justice might entail. This inclusion into the decision-making process helps create the feeling of personal investment in the final negotiated product. In addition, negotiators need to work towards building a novel shared reality as well as a new common language to help foster an enduring harmony between previously clashing peoples. (shrink)
This essay responds to Lewis Ford’s “Allan’s Atheism,” in which he assesses a recent essay of mine that finds God an unnecessary and indeed coherence-destroying addition to Process and Reality. I clarify my position by showing how Whitehead’s notions of physical purpose and aesthetic determination adequately account for the novelty required for an actual occasion’s concrescence and for increases in achieved value. I then criticize Ford’s claim that genuine novelties must have a divine origin and that in Adventures of (...) Ideas the Eros of the Universe refers to God. (shrink)
This book argues that Whitehead’s introduction of God into his process metaphysics renders it incoherent. Replacing roles assigned to God with the powers inherent in finite entities, George Allan recovers a coherent presentation of the truth of time’s primacy, using Whitehead’s major writings.
Following strict rules of interpretation, this book focuses on the ideas in Plato's early and middle dialogues that lie within the fields now called logic and methodology, specifically elenchus and dialectic and the method of hypothesis.
Whitehead’s process metaphysics, as developed in Process and Reality, is harmed by the incoherence of his notion of eternal objects as timeless and essentially unrelated entities, which therefore need a primordial agent as their ontological ground and the source of their relatedness and relevance. Such nontemporal entities undermine what is supposed to be a thoroughly temporalist metaphysics. Eternal objects can be understood solely as functions of Creativity, however, as features of a purely temporal process. A notion of God is not (...) required. Whitehead’s Categoreal Obligations specify the necessary conditions for this process, including how the novelty is possible that is needed to account for temporal change and the increased complexity that value enhancement presupposes and makes possible. Adventures of Ideas, especially through the notions of Art and Peace, develops at the level of human civilization this same secular interpretation of the capacity of entities to fashion novel and progressive outcomes. (shrink)
Moral expertise in the Laches -- The Laches -- Socratic ignorance and socratic wisdom -- Vituperation -- Virtue and craft -- Expertise in the Charmides -- Ironies -- The definitions -- Quietness -- Modesty -- Doing or making one's own -- Doing, not making, one's own -- Doing good things -- Knowing oneself -- Knowledge of itself and all other knowledges -- Good, evil, and temperance -- Expertise in republic -- Preliminaries -- Republic viii -- The text -- Mathematical indeterminacy (...) -- Metaphysical necessity -- Justice "writ large" -- The most formidable question -- Preliminaries -- The context of the argument -- The most formidable argument itself -- The image -- Not knowing the things we know -- Attending to words -- Larger issues -- The third man argument. (shrink)
This paper attempts to clarify the way in which we interpret English comparatives. It shows that recognition of a comparative depends primarily on the recognition of the comparative operator, cl. The cl has two constituents (1) a comparative marker which, because there are less than a dozen of them, makes cl readily recognizable; and (2) a scale marker. I argue that comparisons are made on a particular scale, and that scales have a supra end and a sub end; the scale (...) marker in cl identifies which end. Thus the combination of scale marker and comparative marker determines the proper interpretation of the comparative operator, and hence the comparative relation. This interpretation is affected by the ‘committedness’ (Cruse 1976) and perhaps ‘pull’ (Rusiecki 1985) of the scale marker. A comparison identifies the relative locations of the comparands X and Y on the scale named in the cl. X, the primum comparationis, is identified through the scope of cl. Y, the secundum comparationis, is recognized through the fact that it is normally a semantic-syntactic parallel to X in a clause introduced by the c2: c2 is normally than or as. The paper ends with detailed discussion of the means for translating English comparative constructions into an interpretative metalanguage. (shrink)
Presumably it is common ground that this verb has in addition to the basic sense ‘recognize’ the derivative sense ‘oread’, and that one must judge from the context whether reading to one or more other people, or private reading, is meant. The reading of the text of a law to a jury at an orator's request is marked by the circumstances themselves as public reading; so is the reading of the Athenian decree to the Mitylenaeans in Thucydides. When Theaetetus answers (...) in the affirmative the question whether he has read the book of Protagoras which contains the statement that man is the measure of all things (); or when it is asked ‘Why is it that some people, if they begin to read, are overcome by sleep even against their will, whereas others wishing to be overcome by sleep are kept awake by taking up a book?’ Evidently what is intended is reading in the privacy of one's own room. When Socrates in the Phaedo says that he heard a person reading from Anaxagoras and eagerly took the book home to read , both senses are found within a few pages. (shrink)
Very little has been written in recent decades about the temporal nature of art. The two principal explanations provided by our Western cultural tradition are that art is timeless (`eternal') or that it belongs within the world of historical change. Neither account offers a plausible explanation of the world of art as we know it today, which contains large numbers of works which are self-evidently not timeless because they have been resurrected after long periods of oblivion with significances quite different (...) from those which they originally held, and which also seem to have escaped history because, though long-forgotten, they have `come alive' again for us today. In his two key works on the theory of art, "Les Voix du silence" and "La Métamorphose des dieux", André Malraux offers an entirely new account of the temporal nature of art based on the concept of metamorphosis. Unlike the traditional explanations, Malraux's account makes sense of the world of art as we now know it. He revolutionizes our understanding of the relationship between art and time. (shrink)
After an initial period of popularity in the 1960s and 1970s, André Malraux’s works on the theory of art, "The Voices of Silence" and "The Metamorphosis of the Gods", lapsed into relative obscurity. A major factor in this fall from grace was the frosty reception given to these works by a number of leading art historians, including E.H. Gombrich, who accused Malraux of an irresponsible approach to art history and of "reckless inaccuracies". This essay examines a representative sample of the (...) art historians' arguments and contends that they reveal serious misreadings of Malraux’s texts and a recurring tendency to confuse matters of interpretation with matters of fact. The article suggests that the charge of irresponsibility might well be levelled at the critics themselves, and that the myth of Malraux as guilty of ‘reckless inaccuracies’ needs to be debunked. (shrink)
Our society is changing at a pace hardly imagined a century, even a few decades ago. The role of education is crucial in helping prepare our young people to both cope with and take responsibility for shaping these changes in ways consistent with the values of a free society. To this end, four overarching themes for change in curriculum are examined: the competencies and attitudes needed to understand and engage in systems thinking; the development of self and inter-personal knowledge and (...) skills; understanding of the connectiveness of knowledge; and the ability to think critically. (shrink)
Do the most celebrated works of Rousseau—more particularly his Discourse on Inequality, émile , and Control Social —present on the whole a coherent answer to the problems of Education and Society? My impression is that Rousseau has here been very much calumniated, owing to the incredible haste and superficiality with which his writings have generally been studied. Even sympathetic inquirers, like M. Schinz in his thorough and attractive work La Pensée de J. J. Rousseau , seem to be too easily (...) discouraged in the quest for unity. (shrink)