XIV—The Truth in Political Instrumentalism

Authors
Daniel Viehoff
New York University
Abstract
How can one person’s having political power over another be justified? This essay explores the idea that such justifications must be in an important sense derivative, and that this ‘Derivative Justification Constraint’ bars certain justifications widely endorsed in political and philosophical debates. After critically discussing the most prominent extant articulations of the Constraint (associated with a view often called ‘political instrumentalism’), the essay offers a novel account of what precisely the Constraint bars (in short: justification by appeal to non-derivative goods that include among their elements one person’s ruling over another), what motivates it (in a nutshell: a deeply non-instrumental concern for each person’s moral independence), and what it entails for how we may justify democratic political arrangements in particular.
Keywords authority  legitimacy  power  instrumentalism  political justification
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DOI 10.1093/arisoc/aox015
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References found in this work BETA

Rethinking Intrinsic Value.Shelly Kagan - 1998 - The Journal of Ethics 2 (4):277-297.
Democracy and Proportionality.Harry Brighouse & Marc Fleurbaey - 2010 - Journal of Political Philosophy 18 (2):137-155.
Democratic Equality and Political Authority.Daniel Viehoff - 2014 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 42 (4):337-375.
The Authority of Democracy.Thomas Christiano - 2004 - Journal of Political Philosophy 12 (3):266–290.
Rethinking Intrinsic Value.Shelly Kagan - 2005 - In Toni Rønnow-Rasmussen & Michael J. Zimmerman (eds.), The Journal of Ethics. Springer. pp. 97--114.

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Citations of this work BETA

On Political Instrumentalism and the Justification of Democracy: Reply to Viehoff.Joel K. Q. Chow - 2018 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 118 (3):387-397.

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