Two Conceptions of Legitimacy: A Response to Fabian Wendt’s Moralist Critique of Political Realism

Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 31 (3):57-76 (2017)

Abstract
Fabian Wendt argues that political realism is not capable of explaining how the state’s moral right to rule over its subjects is generated. I believe that Wendt’s criticism is not sound because his position relies on the false implicit assumption that realism and moralism ask the same philosophical questions on state authority. I contend that it is fallacious to evaluate the realist account of legitimacy by the standards of moralism, and vice versa, as these two accounts arrive at different conceptions of legitimacy by raising different sets of philosophical questions. The two sets of philosophical questions are not reducible to each other. The realist account of legitimacy does not aim to explain what the moralist account of legitimacy aims to explain.
Keywords realism  moralism  legitimacy  normativity  politics
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References found in this work BETA

Realism in Normative Political Theory.Enzo Rossi & Matt Sleat - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (10):689-701.
Political Realism as Ideology Critique.Janosch Prinz & Enzo Rossi - 2017 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 20 (3):334-348.
Political Norms and Moral Values.Robert Jubb & Enzo Rossi - 2015 - Journal of Philosophical Research 40:455-458.
Justice, Legitimacy, and (Normative) Authority for Political Realists.Enzo Rossi - 2012 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 15 (2):149-164.
Legitimacy in Realist Thought.Matt Sleat - 2014 - Political Theory 42 (3):314-337.

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