Journal of Applied Philosophy 32 (2):147-162 (2015)

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Abstract
This article explores the role that considerations about the feasibility of a political proposal should play at the levels of both ideal and non-ideal theory. Drawing on recent work in the literature on political feasibility, I begin by describing a ‘constraint-based’ view of ideal and non-ideal theory, with feasibility considerations serving different functions depending on whether they are operating at the ideal or non-ideal level. Taking feasibility seriously at either level presents us with at least two important challenges. Firstly, we need principles which enable us to weigh the value of a proposal's feasibility against its other normatively significant properties, and against those of alternative proposals. Secondly, we need the capacity to gauge the nature of the epistemic constraints which apply to our feasibility assessments themselves. In response to these problems, I propose a ‘narrowing-down’ approach, focused on developing our capacities to make accurate and reliable judgements about the feasibility of political proposals
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DOI 10.1111/japp.12083
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