Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 22 (4):953-970 (2019)

Abstract
Political theory is contextualist when factual claims about context are part of the justification of normative political judgments. There are different kinds of contextualism depending on whether context is relevant for the formulation and justification of political principles, whether principles themselves are contextually specific, or whether context is only relevant for the application of principles. An important challenge to contextualism is the problem of critical distance: how can theories ensure a critical perspective if facts about the context to be evaluated are also part of the justification for the normative judgments? Tariq Modood and Simon Thompson have defended what they call iterative contextualism, which combines elements of all three kinds of contextualism in an attempt to avoid the problem of critical distance. The present paper discusses Modood and Thompson’s iterative contextualism and whether it manages to avoid the problem of critical distance.
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DOI 10.1007/s10677-019-10026-6
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Rescuing Justice and Equality.G. A. Cohen (ed.) - 2008 - Harvard University Press.
Liberalism’s Religion.Cécile Laborde (ed.) - 2017 - Harvard University Press.
Interpretation and Social Criticism.Michael Walzer - 1987 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 19 (4):360-373.

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