Political realism as ideology critique

Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 20 (3):334-348 (2017)
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Abstract

This paper outlines an account of political realism as a form of ideology critique. Our focus is a defence of the normative edge of this critical-theoretic project against the common charge that there is a problematic trade-off between a theory’s groundedness in facts about the political status quo and its ability to consistently envisage radical departures from the status quo. To overcome that problem we combine insights from three distant corners of the philosophical landscape: theories of legitimacy by Bernard Williams and other realists, Frankfurt School-inspired Critical Theory, and recent analytic epistemological and metaphysical theories of cognitive bias, ideology, and social construction. The upshot is a novel account of realism as empirically-informed diagnosis- critique of social and political phenomena. This view rejects a sharp divide between descriptive and normative theory, and so is an alternative to the anti- empiricism of some approaches to Critical Theory as well as to the complacency towards existing power structures found within liberal realism, let alone mainstream normative political philosophy, liberal or otherwise.

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Author Profiles

Janosch Prinz
Maastricht University
Enzo Rossi
University of Amsterdam

Citations of this work

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Political normativity and the functional autonomy of politics.Carlo Burelli - 2022 - European Journal of Political Theory 21 (4):627-649.
Realism and Political Normativity.Matt Sleat - 2021 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 25 (3):465-478.

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References found in this work

Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - New York: Basic Books.
Realism in Normative Political Theory.Enzo Rossi & Matt Sleat - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (10):689-701.
Political Liberalism.J. Rawls - 1995 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.
Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - Philosophy 52 (199):102-105.

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