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Why can’t a peace be based on grammatical rules ?

1. Essentially contested concepts are evaluative, and they deliver value judgements.
2. Essentially contested concepts denote comprehensively evaluated entities that have an internally complex character.
3. The evaluation must be attributed to the internally complex entity as a whole.
4. The different constituent elements of that internally complex entity are initially variously describable.
5. The different users of the concept will often allocate substantially different orders of relative importance, substantially different “weights”, and/or substantially different interpretations to each of those constituent elements.
6. Psychological and sociological causes influence the extent to which any particular consideration is salient for a given individual, regarded as a stronger reason by that individual than by another, and regarded as a reason by one individual and not by another
7. The disputed concepts are open-ended and vague, and are subject to considerable modification in the light of changing circumstances.
8. This further modification can neither be predicted nor prescribed in advance.
9. Whilst, by Gallie’s express stipulation, there is no best instantiation of an essentially contested concept (or, at least, none knowable to be the best), it is also obvious that some instantiations will be considerably betterthan others; and, furthermore, even if one particular instantiation seems best at the moment, there is always the possibility that a new, better instantiation will emerge in the future.
10. Each party knows and recognizes that its own peculiar usage/interpretation of the concept is disputed by others who, in their turn, hold different and quite incompatible views.
11. Each party must (at least to a certain extent) understand the criteria upon which the other participants’ (repudiated) views are based.
12. Disputes centred on essentially contested concepts are “perfectly genuine”, “not resolvable by argument”, and “nevertheless sustained by perfectly respectable arguments and evidence”.
13. Each party’s use of their own specific usage/interpretation is driven by a need to uphold their own particular (correct, proper and superior) usage/interpretation against that of all other (incorrect, improper and irrational) users.
14. Because the use of an essentially contested concept is always the application of one use against all other uses, any usage is intentionally aggressive and defensive.
15. Because it is essentially contested, rather than “radically confused”, the continued use of the essentially contested concept is justified by the fact that, despite all of their on-going disputation, all of the competitors acknowledge that the contested concept is derived from a single common exemplar.
16. The continued use of the essentially contested concept also helps to sustain and develop our understanding of the concept’s original exemplar/s.

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