Is political philosophy too ahistorical?

Abstract
The accusation that contemporary political philosophy is carried out in too ahistorical a fashion depends upon it being possible for historical facts to ground normative political principles. This they cannot do. Each of the seven ways in which it might be thought possible for them to do so fails for one or more of four reasons: (1) History yields no timeless set of universal moral values; (2) it displays no convergence upon such a set; (3) it reveals no univocal moral or cultural context in the present; (4) the failure of an ethical tradition to successfully respond to criticism over a long period of time is no guarantee of its inability to do so. Because historical critiques of contemporary normative thought rely upon one or more of these things holding true, they are, as a class of arguments, to be rejected.
Keywords Political Philosophy  History  historicism  Macintyre  Skinner  Berlin  traditionalism  contextualism  Larmore  political theory
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    References found in this work BETA
    Isaiah Berlin (2000). The Power of Ideas. Princeton University Press.
    Raymond Geuss (2003). Outside Ethics. European Journal of Philosophy 11 (1):29–53.

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    Citations of this work BETA
    Gabriele De Angelis (2010). On the Importance of History for Political Philosophy. A Reply to Jonathan Floyd. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 13 (4):541-548.
    Jonathan Floyd (2011). Historical Facts and Political Principles. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 14 (1):89-90.
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