Global justice and regional metaphysics: On the critical history of the law of nature and nations

Hunter, Ian (2010). Global justice and regional metaphysics: On the critical history of the law of nature and nations. In Shaunnagh Dorsett and Ian Hunter (Ed.), Law and politics in British Colonial thought: Transpositions of empire (pp. 11-30) New York, U.S.A.: Palgrave Macmillan.

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Author Hunter, Ian
Title of chapter Global justice and regional metaphysics: On the critical history of the law of nature and nations
Title of book Law and politics in British Colonial thought: Transpositions of empire
Place of Publication New York, U.S.A.
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Publication Year 2010
Sub-type Research book chapter (original research)
Series Palgrave Studies in Cultural and Intellectual History
ISBN 9780230104556
023010455X
Editor Shaunnagh Dorsett
Ian Hunter
Chapter number 1
Start page 11
End page 30
Total pages 20
Total chapters 13
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Subjects 220204 History and Philosophy of Law and Justice
220209 History of Ideas
220210 History of Philosophy
B1
Abstract/Summary Early modern natural law and the law of nations (jus naturae et gentium) has been criticised for the Eurocentric character of its conception of law and justice, which has been in turn linked to its role in providing an ideological justification for European imperialism and colonialism. In questioning this account, the present chapter begins by noting that this historical critique presumes that a non-Eurocentric (universal or cosmopolitan) conception of law and justice was in principle available to the early moderns, which they culpably ignored for ideological reasons. If such a non-Eurocentric conception was not available, though, then we will have to acknowledge that the early modern law of nature and nations was actually far more profoundly Eurocentric than even its most strident postcolonial critics have grasped. If the early modern law of nature and nations turns out to be wholly within the horizon of European cultures and designed to address fundamentally European political and religious problems, then its colonial uses might turn out to be both less central and less culpable than is presumed by postcolonial critique. These are the revisionist questions that the chapter explores.
Keyword Natural law
Law of nations (jus gentium)
Metaphysics
Imperialism
Colonialism
Historiography
Q-Index Code B1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

 
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Created: Sat, 04 Sep 2010, 09:14:15 EST by Professor Ian Hunter on behalf of Centre for History of European Discourses