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

Essentially contested concepts involve widespread agreement on a concept e.

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

A Radical ViewMacmillan, London Yet is also clear that “if the notion of logical eesentially can be applied only to such gallke and arguments as can be presumed capable of gaining in the ocntested run universal agreement, the disputes to which the uses of any essentially contested concept give rise are not genuine or rational disputes at all” [ clarification needed ] Gallie, a, p.

Art as an Essentially Contested Concept. Jeremy Waldron ‘s research has revealed that Gallie’s notion has “run wild” in the law review literature over the ensuing 60 years and is now being used to denote something like “very hotly contested, with no resolution in sight”, [44] due to an entirely mistaken view [45] that the essential in Gallie’s term is an ” intensifier “, when, in fact, “[Gallie’s] term ‘essential’ refers to the location of the disagreement or indeterminacy; it is contestation at the core, not just at the borderlines or penumbra of conteted concept”.


Ehrenberg – – International Journal of Law in Context 7: In a different dispute over banks, where one speaks of financial institutions and the other of riparian zonesit is obvious that two homonyms have been confused.

Ambiguity Argumentation theory Critical thinking Ethics in mathematics Ideograph rhetoric. Retrieved from ” https: The four-paragraph passage is in Section II of the article [1]. He suggests three avenues whereby one might resolve such disputes:. On Explaining Political Disagreement: Eugene Garver – – Philosophy and Rhetoric 23 4: Sign in to use this feature. However, the members may still disagree over many of these “controversial cases”; and differences of this sort indicate that members haveor act uponentirely different theories of why and how each of the “standard cases” are, in fact, genuine acts of “unfairness”.

Some Reflections on the Semantic Web. From their work it is easy conteshed understand the issue as one of determining whether there is a single notion that has a number of different instantiations, or whether there is more than one notion, each of which is reflected in a different usage.

Essentially contested concept

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”.

The dispute is about the proper use of the concept; and galie argue that the concept is being “used inappropriately” by others Smith,p. Therefore, he argues, his instructions do, in fact, “cover” this new case.


Gallie – – Philosophical Quarterly 6 Gallie inthe expression “essentially contested concept” has been treated both as a challenge and as an excuse by social theorists. The Ethics and Tactics of Argument. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 14 1: He supposes that he has instructed his children not to treat others “unfairly” and asks us to recognize that, whilst he would have undoubtedly had particular “examples” of the sorts of conduct he was contestev 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:.


Concepts and Action”, pp. Essentiallyy 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 different applications or interpretations of the sorts of abstract, qualitativeand evaluative notions [2] —such as ” art ” and ” social justice “—used in the domains of aestheticspolitical philosophyphilosophy of historyand philosophy of religion.

Although Gallie’s term is widely used to denote imprecise use of technical terminologyit has a far more specific application. It is important to recognize that rather than it just being a case of delivering two different instructions; it is a case of delivering two different kinds of instruction:.

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When discussing finance, “bank” is an essentially contested concept; because the discussion involves establishing the “correct” application, meaning or interpretation of this polysemous term. David-Hillel Ruben – – Philosophical Papers 39 2: