Res Publica 24 (2):159-179 (2018)

Matthias Brinkmann
University of Oslo
There has been little debate in political philosophy about whether the intentions of governments matter to the legitimacy of their policies. This paper fills this gap. First, I provide a rigorous statement of political anti-intentionalism, the view that intentions do not matter to political legitimacy. I do so by building on analogous debates in moral philosophy. Second, I sketch some strategies to defend political anti-intentionalism, which I argue are promising and available to a wide range of theories of legitimacy. Third, I show that the distinction has implications for debates surrounding neutrality and political liberalism.
Keywords Intentions  Legitimacy  Public justification  Neutrality
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DOI 10.1007/s11158-016-9347-9
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References found in this work BETA

On What Matters: Two-Volume Set.Derek Parfit - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
Political Liberalism.John Rawls - 1993 - Columbia University Press.
Moral Dimensions: Permissibility, Meaning, Blame.Thomas Scanlon - 2008 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
The Morality of Freedom.Joseph Raz - 1986 - Oxford University Press.

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