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Guest lecture

Lecture 3 of 3: The Subtle Science: The Hermeneutics of the Treaty of Waitangi

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The Subtle Science is the discipline of interpretation. In this lecture Lord Cooke's "Living Treaty" doctrine is explained in interpretativist terms, teleological trends in Treaty and constitutional thinking are identified and condemned, along with the myth of New Zealand "pragmatism". The Treaty debate is self-ordering and interpretativist.  Far from being an impediment to democracy in New Zealand, the Treaty process gives us the opportunity to at last become a genuinely liberal nation-state, that is a liberal pluralist state, as the political philosopher Chandran Kukathas proposes.


Dr Bernard Cadogan has a Doctorate of Philosophy from Oxford University on the political thought and constitutionalism and racial policy of Sir George Grey (1812-1898) in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. He is married with a three year old son.

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Last updated: 
Friday, 17 February 2017