A basic challenge of contemporary thought is to better understand the origin, persistence, and future course of international/ comparative law. I suggest that a foundational step is to begin treating the law as a philosophical matter. I propose that comparative and international legal theory require a distinct methodology that is as integrated and systematic as positivism, but which better recognizes the dialectic interdependence of normative and empirical and the metaphysical interdependence of theory and practice. Philosophical Method, as systematized by R.G. Collingwood, promotes the dialectic over the eristic, looks for overlap rather than definitive scientific classification, argues for comprehensive philosophy rather than isolated theory and recognizes a proper logical metaphysics of absolute and relative presuppositions rather than a positive legal practice isolated from its inherent philosophical determinants.
John Martin Gilroy, A Proposal for ‘Philosophical Method' in Comparative and International Law, Pace Int’l L. Rev. Online Companion, Oct. 2009, at 1.