Seeing Water: Building International Justice Beyond Embodied Metaphysics


In the discourse on International Justice, traditional frameworks are deeply rooted in 'embodied metaphysics'—a perspective embedded in the tangible experiences of human existence. By contrasting the physical with the digital realms, I suggest that our current global justice systems are ill-equipped to address the complexities of the digital age. Utilizing the metaphor of water to highlight the often-unseen environment shaping justice theories and practices, I argue that International Justice, as conventionally understood, reflects the constraints akin to fish oblivious to the water surrounding them. In digital spaces, individuals are no longer bound by principles of singularity and locality, and instead operate by principles of multiplicity and nonlocality. These metaphysical differences disrupt many theories of global justice assuming singularity and nonlocality. My aim is to encourage scholars and practitioners to 'see water'—to acknowledge and critically reassess the foundational assumptions underlying their theories and practices in an era of digital transformation.

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