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Yip, K. What is Human? Reading Social Idealism against the Reality of Blackman and Azaria. German Yearbook of International Law, 60(1), 365-391. https://doi.org/10.3790/gyil.60.1.365
Yip, Ka Lok. "What is Human? Reading Social Idealism against the Reality of Blackman and Azaria" German Yearbook of International Law 60.1, , 365-391. https://doi.org/10.3790/gyil.60.1.365
Yip, Ka Lok: What is Human? Reading Social Idealism against the Reality of Blackman and Azaria, in: German Yearbook of International Law, vol. 60, iss. 1, 365-391, [online] https://doi.org/10.3790/gyil.60.1.365

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What is Human? Reading Social Idealism against the Reality of Blackman and Azaria

Yip, Ka Lok

German Yearbook of International Law, Vol. 60 (2018), Iss. 1 : pp. 365–391

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Ka Lok Yip, PhD, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva.

Abstract

This article explores the oscillation between individualism and holism and between voluntarism and determinism underlying Philip Allott’s philosophy of social idealism and attributes it to an under-analysis of the relationship between human agency, culture, and structure. Drawing on different social theoretical perspectives and philosophical approaches, it examines this aspect of social idealism through the lens of two recent cases, Alexander Blackman in the United Kingdom and Elor Azaria in Israel. It argues that a dominant focus on either the individuals or their context is necessarily reductionist while collapsing the two risks obscuring causality and responsibility and relegating their apportionment to those in possession of cultural and structural power. Only by differentiating between the relative degrees of human freedom and constraints in different situations, can the limits to human agency become recognisable, comprehensible, and therefore amenable to being tackled, transformed, and potentially overcome.

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Ka Lok Yip: What is Human? Reading Social Idealism against the Reality of Blackman and Azaria 1
I. Introduction 1
II. Blackman and Azaria through the Lens of Social Theories 2
III. The ‘Real’ Moment – the Shooting 6
A. Agency 6
B. Culture 6
C. Structure 8
D. Dualist (Non-Emergentist) Versus Dualistic (Emergentist) Account 9
IV. The ‘Legal’ Moment – the Verdict 1
A. Legal Self-Constituting 1
B. Dualist Account 1
C. Dualistic Account 1
V. The ‘Ideal’ Moment – the Thinking About Thinking 2
A. What is Human? 2
B. Philosophical Approaches 2
C. Legal Presuppositions 2
VI. Conclusion 2