David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 15 (2):149-164 (2012)
One of the main challenges faced by realists in political philosophy is that of offering an account of authority that is genuinely normative and yet does not consist of a moralistic application of general, abstract ethical principles to the practice of politics. Political moralists typically start by devising a conception of justice based on their pre-political moral commitments; authority would then be legitimate only if political power is exercised in accordance with justice. As an alternative to that dominant approach I put forward the idea that upturning the relationship between justice and legitimacy affords a normative notion of authority that does not depend on a pre-political account of morality, and thus avoids some serious problems faced by mainstream theories of justice. I then argue that the appropriate purpose of justice is simply to specify the implementation of an independently grounded conception of legitimacy, which in turn rests on a context- and practice-sensitive understanding of the purpose of political power.
|Keywords||justice legitimacy political realism political moralism political idealism authority|
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Robert Nozick (1974). Anarchy, State and Utopia. Basic Books.
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Citations of this work BETA
Enzo Rossi & Matt Sleat (2014). Realism in Normative Political Theory. Philosophy Compass 9 (10):689-701.
Eva Erman & Niklas Möller (2015). Practices and Principles: On the Methodological Turn in Political Theory. Philosophy Compass 10 (8):533-546.
Tim Heysse (forthcoming). Power, Norms and Theory. A Meta-Political Inquiry. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-23.
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