W. B. Gallie; IX.—Essentially Contested Concepts, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Volume 56, Issue 1, 1 June , Pages – Conceptual confusion has long been a source of difficulty in the study of politics. W. B. Gallie’s analysis of ‘essentially contested concepts’, published in ‘W.B. Gallie and Essentially Contested Concepts’. Re-Reading of W.B. Gallie, ‘ Essentially Contested Concepts’, Proceedings of the Aristotelian.

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An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 14 1: Hansen – – Studies in Philosophy and Education 29 2: Gallie – – Philosophical Quarterly 6 In an attempt to account for cases where disputants trace their individual notions back to entirely differentbut mutually compatible exemplarsConnollyp.

Essentially Contested or Just Confused? An Interdisciplinary Journal of PhilosophyVol. Exploring what he considers to be the “crucial distinction” between the overall concept of “fairness” and some particular, and specific conception of “fairness”, he asks us to imagine a group whose members share the view that certain acts are unfair.

Clarke argued that to state that a concept is merely “contested” is to “attribute significance to the contest rather than to the concept”.

Keywords – essentially contested concepts (Gallie)

Freeden remarks that “not all essentially contested concepts signify valued achievements; they may equally signify disapproved and denigrated phenomena”, [18] and Gerring [19] asks us to imagine just how difficult it would be to “[try] to craft definitions of slavery, fascism, terrorism, or genocide without recourse to ‘pejorative’ attributes”. This article has no associated abstract. Wikipedia articles needing clarification from May In essence, HartRawlsDworkinand Lukes distinguished between the “unity” of a notion and the “multiplicity” of its possible instantiations.

A Reconsideration”, Philosophy and RhetoricVol. In these circumstances, says Dworkin, “the group has a concept of unfairness, and its members may appeal to that concept in moral instruction or argument.


And, because each considers that certain principles “[which] must be relied upon to show that a particular division or attribution is unfair” are far a more “fundamental” sort of principle than certain other principles, it can be said that members of the group have different conceptions of “fairness”.

Essentially contested concept

Although Gallie’s term is widely used to conceptz imprecise use of technical terminologyit has a far more specific application. The disputes that attend an essentially contested concept are driven by substantive disagreements over a range of different, entirely reasonable although perhaps mistaken interpretations of a mutually-agreed-upon archetypical notion, such as the legal precept “treat like cases alike; and treat different cases differently”, with “each party [continuing] to defend its case with what it claims to be convincing arguments, evidence and other forms of justification”.

Yet is also clear that “if the notion of logical justification can be applied only to such theses contesged arguments as can be presumed capable of gaining in the long run universal agreement, the disputes to which the uses of any essentially contested concept galie rise are not genuine or rational disputes at all” [ clarification needed ] Gallie, a, p.

Constitutional Moments in Governing Science and Technology. Eric Reitan – – Hypatia 16 2: In Gallie proposed a set of seven conditions for the existence of an essentially contested concept.

Clarke then drew attention to the substantial differences between the expressions “essentially contested” and “essentially contestable”, that were being extensively used within the literature as though they were interchangeable. In a conrested of his article in The New York Review of BooksDworkin used the example of “fairness” to isolate xoncepts elaborate the difference between a concept suum cuique and its conception various instantiations, for example utilitarian ethics.

Social and Political Philosophy categorize this paper.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Ehrenberg – – International Journal of Law in Context 7: Sign in to use this feature. He supposes that he has instructed his children not to treat others “unfairly” and asks us to recognize convepts, whilst he would have undoubtedly had particular “examples” of the sorts of conduct he was intending to discourage in mind at the time he spoke to his children, whatever it was that he meant when he issued such instructions was not confined to those “examples” alone, for two reasons:.

Cntested in aesthetics Concepts in the philosophy of language Philosophy of religion Rhetoric Social concepts.

IX.—Essentially Contested Concepts | Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society | Oxford Academic

The Notion of an Essentially Contested Concept. In a paper delivered to the Aristotelian Society on 12 March[1] Walter Bryce Gallie — introduced the term essentially contested concept to facilitate an understanding of the esentially applications or interpretations of the sorts of abstract, qualitativeand evaluative notions [2] —such as ” art ” and ” social justice “—used in the domains of aesthetics contfsted, political philosophyphilosophy of historyand philosophy of religion.

And, although the notion could be misleadingly and evasively used to justify “agreeing to disagree”, [7] the term offers something more valuable:.

Johnstone – – Inquiry: The term essentially contested essntially gives a name to a problematic situation that many people recognize: Snelling – – Nursing Philosophy 13 3: Therefore, he argues, his instructions do, in fact, “cover” this new case. Yet, to state that a concept is “contestable” is conceppts “attribute some part of any contest to the concept”.