I have outlined an idea of tradition as a conversation between two modes of inquiry, practice and history, in terms of which conduct inter homines can be understood. Conversation is not a formally structured mode of understanding, like history or practice themselves, but an engagement pointing towards the absolute presuppositions of the condition of modernity. Thus tradition necessarily overflows the modes of experience that constitute it, and this excess is what makes it possible to recognize the conclusions and the presuppositions of practical and historical understanding as being questionable. As a non-instrumental practice, authoritative in its character but not formalized through the institution of a centralized set of authoritative offices, tradition constitutes what the classical approach in International Relations described (without really defining) as world society and understood as a moral ground for the operation of international order.
KeywordsHuman Conduct International Relation World Politics World Society Moral Practice
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