PHILOSOPHERS OF COURTESY

  • Institutional Identity
    • Remember, in Ch1 Dwork says that classical theories of law unhelpful because of semantic sting. So what philosophies helpful when people take interpretive attitude when describing social tradition.  Suppose guy in community is asked to describe conceptual account of courtesy — he must join the practices he describes. He cannot say that taking off ones hat to lady is by def a case of courtesy, like how Moby Dick is book by def.  — “He is like a man at the North Pole told to go any way but south.”
    • He complains, so given new task “our practices of courtesy different to other generations, but we have same sort of practice. Must be some feature we all share. Please tell us what”.
    • He can answer this, but not how they want. His answer will be historical. Like rope with strands none of which run all along the rope. — But which changes great enough to cut thread of continuity? That is interpretive question. There is NO feature that any stage or instance of the practice just must have to be courtesy, and looking for it just another e.g. Of semantic sting.
  • Concept and Conception
    • Can the philosopher provide an account more conceptual and less substantive? Perhaps, the structure is tree like. All agree respect part of courtesy, but not all agree what respect is.
    • So this common trunk serves as base of very meaning of courtesy and for discussion: respect provides concept of courtesy and that competing positions about what respect really require are conceptions of that concept (the contrast of concept and conception is levels of abstraction)
    • But concept/concpetion distinction NOT same as word and its extension distinction. So in one way his analysis, if successful, must also be uncontroversial, because him claim that respect provides concept of courtesy fails unless people are by and large agreed that courtesy is a matter of respect. Similar to the abogados de accidentes de autobus.
    • BUT, his claim is interpretive, NOT semantic! Not claim about linguistic ground rules everyone must follow. Nor is his claim timeless. Can also be challenged, but if, then at deeper disagreement, not superficially.
  • Paradigms
    • One more task philosopher might perform for his constituents. At each stage of historical development, will be certain concrete requirements of courtesy that strike all as paradigms — requirements of courtesy. They will be treated as concrete e.g. Any plausible interpretation must fit.
    • If you reject paradigm seen to be making big mistake. “Paradigms anchor interpretations, but not paradigm is secure from challenge by new interpretation that accounts for other paradigms better and leaves that one isolated as mistake.”  Yesterday’s paradimg could become today’s chauvinism