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Race and law

1997

Election Law

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The Fallacy Of Neutrality: Diary Of An Election Observer, Jeanne M. Woods Jan 1997

The Fallacy Of Neutrality: Diary Of An Election Observer, Jeanne M. Woods

Michigan Journal of International Law

Neutrality is one of many conceptual fictions of liberal discourse. A legal fiction is "contrived by the law" to facilitate adjudication of issues. Such fictions may serve as symbols, to make abstract concepts tangible or, they may be myths designed to promote some normative principle or goal. The problem arises when these fictions cease to be recognized as inventions, or as "presumptions about reality," and are believed to have an independent existence in reality. Then, they "purport to provide us with an objective and impersonal criterion, but they do not." According to the philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre, a fiction is "a …