Horton, J (2017) What Might it Mean for Political Theory to Be More ‘Realistic’? Philosophia, 45 (2). pp. 487-501. ISSN 0048-3893

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This paper explores two different versions of ‘the realist turn’ in recent political theory. It begins by setting out two principal realist criticisms of liberal moralism: that it is both descriptively and normatively inadequate. It then pursues the second criticism by arguing that there are two fundamentally different responses among realists to the alleged normative inadequacy of ideal theory. First, prescriptive realists argue that the aim of realism is to make political theory more normatively adequate by making it more realistic. Interpretative realists, on the other hand, argue that realist theorising should detach itself from such an aspiration, and instead aim at theoretical understanding rather than normative prescription. After some further elaboration of what interpretative realism might look like, it is acknowledged that both approaches still need to address the question of political normativity.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ideal theory; Interpretative realism; Liberal moralism; Normativity; Prescriptive realism
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Politics, Philosophy, International Relations and Environment
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2017 10:05
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2019 15:02
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/3099

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