Political realism as ideology critique

Authors
Enzo Rossi
University of Amsterdam
Janosch Prinz
University of East Anglia
Abstract
This paper outlines an account of political realism as a form of ideology critique. Our focus is a defence of the normative edge of this critical-theoretic project against the common charge that there is a problematic trade-off between a theory’s groundedness in facts about the political status quo and its ability to consistently envisage radical departures from the status quo. To overcome that problem we combine insights from three distant corners of the philosophical landscape: theories of legitimacy by Bernard Williams and other realists, Frankfurt School-inspired Critical Theory, and recent analytic epistemological and metaphysical theories of cognitive bias, ideology, and social construction. The upshot is a novel account of realism as empirically-informed diagnosis- critique of social and political phenomena. This view rejects a sharp divide between descriptive and normative theory, and so is an alternative to the anti- empiricism of some approaches to Critical Theory as well as to the complacency towards existing power structures found within liberal realism, let alone mainstream normative political philosophy, liberal or otherwise.
Keywords critical theory  ideology critique  Bernard Williams  political realism and moralism  methodology in political philosophy  Raymond Geuss
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DOI 10.1080/13698230.2017.1293908
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References found in this work BETA

Alief and Belief.Tamar Szabó Gendler - 2008 - Journal of Philosophy 105 (10):634-663.
Philosophy and Real Politics.Raymond Geuss - 2008 - Princeton University Press.
Political Liberalism.J. Rawls - 1995 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.
Realism in Political Theory.William A. Galston - 2010 - European Journal of Political Theory 9 (4):385-411.
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Citations of this work BETA

Facts, Principles, and Politics.Enzo Rossi - forthcoming - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-16.

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