New Philosophy and New Law for a Troubled World

Philip Allott

There is a vacuum of philosophy to make sense of a world dominated by a disorderly global economy, by science and engineering, by ideologies, and by popular culture. There is a vacuum of law to bring order to relations between states that are more threatening than they have ever been. Thomas More’s Utopia (1516) re-thought everything in another difficult new world. Philip Allott’s Eutopia (2016) reclaims the best of human thought to empower us in making a better human world.

Chapter 4: Paradoxes of Being Human II

Philip Allott

Subjects: law - academic, human rights, law and society, legal philosophy, public international law


Metaphysical contradictions and dilemmas of the mind are the structural foundation of being human. Contradictions of Nature and Society are the relational foundation of being human. Being a human being is living in a particular relationship with Nature and in a particular relationship with society. We cannot escape from our relation to Nature or society, but the human mind is forever in the process of re-forming it, in response to the unceasing challenges that Nature and society present. Human self-transforming faces a formidable obstacle in the perennial idea that we human beings have all inherited something called human nature. It is seen as a set of underlying human characteristics surviving from our pre-human animal past from which we cannot escape and which seriously limit our capacity for self-evolving and self-perfecting.

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