Judging, in Times of Panic
In his practice of intellectual history Ian Hunter has highlighted the productivity of a contextual approach to the institutions and discourses of philosophy, religion, law, and government. Deploying such an approach, his essay for this journal on the humanities in post-1960s Australia invites us to reconsider the terms in which the contemporary humanities have accounted for the world around us and in us. In drawing attention to some other examples of the way in which Hunter has applied this method, this paper explores the implications of a contextualisation of legal judgements that express ethical preferences which efface their historical conditioning. The paper suggests that such an approach might be productively applied in the work of understanding other kinds of legal judgements and policy settings that are commonly marked by a high degree of political agitation, such as contemporary immigration policy and border controls.
History of European Ideas