David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Metaphilosophy 40 (2):237-259 (2009)
Abstract: Philosophers who have addressed the problems of enduring racial injustice have been suspicious of the role played by ideal theory in ethics and political philosophy generally, and in contemporary liberal political philosophy in particular. The theoretical marginalization of race in the work of Rawls has led some to charge that ideal theory is at the very least unhelpful in understanding one of the most significant forms of contemporary injustice, and is at worst ideological in the pejorative sense. To explore these concerns, I formulate five related criticisms of ideal theory and examine each as it would be applied to Rawls's political philosophy. My thesis is that the strongest criticisms—namely, that ideal theory is essentially ideological and cannot provide adequate grounds for justifying race-conscious, equality-securing measures—ultimately miss the mark. But other criticisms of ideal theory are more plausible, and most plausibly directed to an area of Rawls's thought often ignored in discussions of liberalism and race, namely, his account of citizenship and public reasoning.
|Keywords||ideal theory public reason racial injustice social contract John Rawls Charles Mills|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Elizabeth Anderson (2007). Fair Opportunity in Education: A Democratic Equality Perspective. Ethics 117 (4):595-622.
Lawrence Blum (2007). Race, National Ideals, and Civic Virtue. Social Theory and Practice 33 (4):533-556.
James Boettcher (2007). Respect, Recognition, and Public Reason. Social Theory and Practice 33 (2):223-249.
James W. Boettcher (2007). Respect, Recognition, and Public Reason. Social Theory and Practice 33 (2):223-249.
Raymond Geuss (1981). The Idea of a Critical Theory. Cambridge University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Steven Wall (2007). Democracy and Equality. Philosophical Quarterly 57 (228):416–438.
Kevin M. Graham (2002). Race and the Limits of Liberalism. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 32 (2):219-239.
Sebastiano Maffettone (2001). John Rawls. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 1 (3):189-216.
Marcus Arvan (2008). A Nonideal Theory of Justice. Dissertation, University of Arizona
John R. Wright (2002). Conflicts of Value and the Political Ideal of Citizenship. Social Philosophy Today 18:167-181.
Micah Lott (2006). Restraint on Reasons and Reasons for Restraint: A Problem for Rawls' Ideal of Public Reason. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 87 (1):75–95.
Gerald Doppelt (1988). Rawls' Kantian Ideal and the Viability of Modern Liberalism. Inquiry 31 (4):413 – 449.
James P. Sterba (1999). Reconciling Public Reason and Religious Values. Social Theory and Practice 25 (1):1-28.
Robert Jubb (2012). Tragedies of Non-Ideal Theory. European Journal of Political Theory 11 (3):229-246.
Added to index2009-04-16
Total downloads75 ( #23,725 of 1,692,220 )
Recent downloads (6 months)8 ( #29,223 of 1,692,220 )
How can I increase my downloads?