Social Philosophy and Policy 33 (1-2):252-272 (2016)

:This essay seeks to defend the claim that political philosophy ought to be appropriately guided by the phenomenon of politics that it seeks to both offer a theory of and, especially in its normative guise, offer a theory for. It does this primarily through the question of political values. It begins by arguing that for any value to qualify as a value for the political domain, it must be intelligible in relation to the constitutive features of politics as a human activity. It then examines the extent to which the preconditions for the realization of values in practice ought to figure in our considerations as to whether they are values that fit or belong to our social world. We can understand these parts of the essay as responding to two related questions, respectively: Is this a political value at all? — which is to ask, is it a value that is appropriate for the political realm?; and then Is this a political value for us? The final section responds to the often-made complaint that political philosophy ought not to make any concessions to the actual world of politics as it really is, arguing that attending to the realities of politics, and in particular the constitutive conditions of political activity, gives meaning to the enterprise as the theorization of politics. Furthermore those same conditions provide the limits of intelligibility beyond which ideals and values can no longer be, in any meaningful sense, ideals and values for the political sphere.
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DOI 10.1017/s0265052516000285
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References found in this work BETA

Rescuing Justice and Equality.G. A. Cohen (ed.) - 2008 - Harvard University Press.
Realism in Normative Political Theory.Enzo Rossi & Matt Sleat - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (10):689-701.
Ideal Vs. Non‐Ideal Theory: A Conceptual Map.Laura Valentini - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (9):654-664.
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

A Realistic Conception of Politics: Conflict, Order and Political Realism.Carlo Burelli - 2019 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-23.
Can Realism Save Us From Populism? Rousseau in the Digital Age.Ilaria Cozzaglio - forthcoming - European Journal of Political Theory:147488512090692.
Radicalizing Realist Legitimacy.Ben Cross - 2019 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 46 (4):369-389.

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