Unruly Pluralism and Inclusive Tolerance: The Normative Contribution of Jamesian Pragmatism to Non-Ideal Theory

Political Studies Review 14 (1):27-38 (2016)

Colin Koopman
University of Oregon
Much attention is focussed on recent debates in contemporary political philosophy concerning the relative merits of ideal theory and non-ideal theory. In one of their many forms, these debates take shape as a realist challenge to idealistic or utopian approaches to normative political theory. This article shows that the philosophical tradition of pragmatism both instructively anticipates and also, more importantly, can today contribute to contemporary realism. It is shown how a political pragmatism, particularly one centred in William James’ work, helps frame two key contributions that would be resources for the realist challenge to ideal theory. First is an orientation towards unruly pluralism as a feasibility condition that should constrain political theorising. Second is a procedural norm of inclusive tolerance that can help enact the motion of a liberal political vision under the constraints of unruly pluralism.
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Expressivism, Moral Judgment, and Disagreement: A Jamesian Program.Scott Aikin & Michael Hodges - 2018 - Journal of Speculative Philosophy 32 (4):628-656.

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