Social Theory and Practice 48 (1):1-27 (2022)

Authors
Ugur Aytac
University of Amsterdam
Abstract
This article argues that Bernard Williams’ Critical Theory Principle (CTP) is in tension with his realist commitments, i.e., deriving political norms from practices that are inherent to political life. The Williamsian theory of legitimate state power is based on the central importance of the distinction between political rule and domination. Further, Williams supplements the normative force of his theory with the CTP, i.e., the principle that acceptance of a justification regarding power relations ought not to be created by the very same coercive power. I contend that the CTP is an epistemic criterion of reflective (un)acceptability which is not strictly connected to the question of whether people are dominated or not. I show that there are cases of non-domination that fail the epistemic requirements of the CTP.
Keywords Political Realism  Political Legitimacy  Ideology  State Power  Epistemic Criteria
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Reprint years 2022
DOI 10.5840/soctheorpract2021129145
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References found in this work BETA

Internal and External Reasons.Bernard Williams - 1979 - In Ross Harrison (ed.), Rational Action. Cambridge University Press. pp. 101-113.
Truth and Truthfulness: An Essay in Genealogy.Bernard Williams - 2002 - Princeton: Princeton University Press.
The Subject and Power.Michel Foucault - 1982 - Critical Inquiry 8 (4):777-795.

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