Metaethics as Dead Politics? On Political Normativity and Justification

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-17 (forthcoming)
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Abstract

Many political realists endorse some notion of political normativity. They think that there are certain normative claims about politics that do not depend on moral premises. The most prominent moralist objections to political normativity have been metaethical: specifically, that political normativity is not genuinely normative; and that it is incapable of justifying normative claims. In this article, I criticize the latter metaethical objection. I argue that the objection presupposes a notion of ‘justification’ that renders it something that is no longer necessarily valuable to realists. I then extend this argument to show that all metaethical objections to political normativity are unsuccessful. Furthermore, insofar as these metaethical objections purport to constrain the types of politics that realists endorse, realists should regard them as another expression of what Raymond Geuss calls ‘dead politics’.

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Ben Cross
Wuhan University'

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References found in this work

Philosophy and Real Politics.Raymond Geuss - 2008 - Princeton University Press.
Being realistic and demanding the impossible.Enzo Rossi - 2019 - Constellations 26 (4):638-652.
Political realism as ideology critique.Janosch Prinz & Enzo Rossi - 2017 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 20 (3):334-348.
Realism in political theory.William A. Galston - 2010 - European Journal of Political Theory 9 (4):385-411.

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