We are all, quite naturally, implicated in a continual process of selecting words in our conversations and thoughts. Sometimes the selection is between two similar words, and at other times, perhaps between two different approaches. These two descriptions of choice are merely two in a rather vast ocean of possibilities of selection. There are many languages, words, fora, conversations and participants. This problem of how our words and thoughts could have many meanings is something we are both “aware of” and also “ignore” as we live our lives.
However, just because it is routine, it does not mean that we remain immune from problems. We use all sorts of conceptions and ideas – for instance that one’s eyes are the windows to one’s soul – as means by which we think about how to prioritize one meaning over others. This raises questions on how we observe meaning itself, how we carry it, and how we communicate it.
FutureLearn is offering a course designed in partnership with the BBC to commemorate World War I. Professor Tams leads the course which reassesses the aspirations for a new world order by those participating in the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. Christian J. Tams is Professor of International Law at the University of Glasgow. The course begins 13 October 2014.
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The Paris Peace Conference of 1919 not only ended the Great War, but also redrew the map of the world. By doing so, the events leading to the conference and its treaties ushered in a new era of international relations. Often criticised as naive, the peace-makers in Paris set up the precursor to the United Nations, a ‘world organisation’ called the League of Nations.
Maria Aristodemou, a legal scholar from Birkbeck, recently published an article with the European Journal of International Law. In Maria’s words, her article attempts “a radical rethinking of public international law through the use of Lacanian psychoanalysis.” Here’s a short synopsis and a couple of links to a discussion of her contribution with Joseph Weiler. Continue reading