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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Essentially contested concept – Wikipedia

The members of this group “agree on a great number of standard cases of unfairness and use these as benchmarks against which to test other, more controversial cases”. A Reconsideration”, Confested and RhetoricVol.

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 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.

Retrieved from ” https: Whilst Gallie’s expression “essentially contested concepts” precisely denotes those “essentially questionable and corrigible concepts” which “are permanently and essentially subject to revision and question”, [40] close examination of the wide and varied and imprecise applications of Gallie’s term subsequent toocntested those who have ascribed their own literal meaning to Gallie’s gsllie without ever consulting Gallie’s work, have led many philosophers to conclude that gallie disputed concepts” would have been far better choice for Gallie’s meaning, for at least three reasons:.

The descriptive definition is still a definition, even if one may glalie it less interesting than Gallie’s definition. 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.


In Gallie proposed a set of seven conditions for the existence of an essentially contested concept. Johnstone – – Inquiry: Aprilpp.

This page was last edited on 16 Juneat Snelling – – Nursing Philosophy 13 3: 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 contwsted of instruction:.

Science Logic and Mathematics. The Ethics and Tactics of Argument. Gallie – – Philosophical Quarterly 6 From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The term essentially contested concepts gives a name to a problematic situation that many people recognize: 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 a concept”.

Peter Ingram – – Philosophia 15 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.

Gallie speaks of how “This picture is painted in oils ” can be successfully contested if the work is actually painted in tempera ; [10] while “This picture is a work of art” may meet strong opposition due to disputes over what “work of art” denotes. Since its introduction by W.

John Kekes – – Philosophy and Rhetoric 10 2: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 33 1: Eric Reitan – – Hypatia 16 2: It has been treated as a challenge in that theorists consider their uses of terms and concepts to be in competition with the uses advocated by other theorists, each theorist trying to be deemed the champion.


Otherwise, the dispute probably centres on polysemy. David-Hillel Ruben – – Philosophical Papers 39 2: Some Reflections on the Semantic Web. In an attempt to account for cases where disputants trace their individual notions back to entirely differentbut mutually compatible exemplarsConnollyp. Sign in Create an account. Sign in to use this feature. Social and Political Philosophy categorize this paper.

Essentially contested concept

In a different dispute over banks, where one speaks of financial institutions and the other of riparian zonesit concpets obvious that two homonyms have been concpets. These features distinguish Gallie’s “essentially contested concepts” from others, “which can be shown, as a result of analysis or experiment, to be radically confused”; [20] or, as Gray [21] would have it, they are esseentially features that relate to the task of distinguishing the “general words, which really denote an essentially contested concept” from those other “general words, whose uses conceal a diversity of distinguishable concepts”: From their work it is easy to 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.

So long as contestant users of any essentially contested concept believe, however deludedly, that their own use of it is the only one that can command honest and informed approval, they are likely to persist in congested hope that they will ultimately persuade and convert all their opponents by logical means.

A Radical ViewMacmillan, London Medicine as an Essentially Contested Concept. An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 14 1: Ambiguity Argumentation theory Critical thinking Ethics in mathematics Ideograph rhetoric.