International Law and Ethics After the Critical Challenge: by Euan MacDonald

By Euan MacDonald

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Htm. 20 Such an argument can never hope to demonstrate the “rightness” of its conclusion; only persuade as to its reasonableness. In this work, therefore, I will not seek to provide a comprehensive rebuttal of all critiques of the anti-foundationalist stance that I have adopted here; nor will I seek to make for it an irrefutable case. Although I will, at various points, outline the reasons of other theorists for rejecting ethical foundationalism, and defend my own choice of this philosophical starting point against particular criticisms, it must be stressed that post-foundationalism is far more an assumption than a conclusion of my arguments here.

Now we clearly have a question concerning the rapport aux autres; the prohibition on interference does not apply. The problem is that we cannot formulate an opinion on this type of “moral” question without already having judged the “ethical” one. That is to say, we are in no position to decide upon whether or not uneducated women should be entitled to refuse education to their daughters without already having taken a stance on whether all women should be educated. g. Rorty, “Moral Identity and Private Autonomy”, in Timothy J.

26 My objection to both 25 26 This, broadly, is the position adopted by Michel Foucault. , Michel Foucault: Essential Works of Foucault 1954-1984: Volume 1: Ethics (New York: Free Press, 1997) 253-280. I consider his work in more detail in Chapter V. Outi Korhonen, one international legal scholar who has suggested the separation of ethics from morals in the first fashion outlined above, acknowledges as much when, in justifying the structure of her monograph, she notes that she had intended to separate out chapters on “community” and “ethics”, but found this to be impossible: “The arguments and explicit statements belonging to the ethical element were invariably statements of communal and professional norms”; see Korhonen, International Law Situated: An Analysis of the Lawyer’s Stance towards Culture, History and Community (The Hague: Kluwer Law International, 2000) p.

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