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  1. The Grammar of Political Obligation.Thomas Fossen - 2014 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 13 (3):215-236.
    This essay presents a new way of conceptualizing the problem of political obligation. On the traditional ‘normativist’ framing of the issue, the primary task for theory is to secure the content and justification of political obligations, providing practically applicable moral knowledge. This paper develops an alternative, ‘pragmatist’ framing of the issue, by rehabilitating a frequently misunderstood essay by Hanna Pitkin and by recasting her argument in terms of the ‘pragmatic turn’ in recent philosophy, as articulated by Robert Brandom. From this (...)
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  • Political Legitimacy as a Problem of Judgment.Thomas Fossen - 2022 - Social Theory and Practice 48 (1):89-113.
    This paper examines the differences between moralist, realist, and pragmatist approaches to political legitimacy by articulating their largely implicit views of judgment. Three claims are advanced. First, the salient opposition among approaches to legitimacy is not between “moralism” and “realism.” Recent realist proposals for rethinking legitimacy share with moralist views a distinctive form, called “normativism”: a quest for knowledge of principles that solve the question of legitimacy. This assumes that judging legitimacy is a matter of applying such principles to a (...)
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  • Political Realism, Legitimacy, and a Place for External Critique.Ilaria Cozzaglio - 2020 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 47 (10):1213-1236.
    Political realists claim that politics should be regulated by a distinctive political normativity, one that does not rely on external, pre-political moral standards. It is in this sense that they d...
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  • A World of Possibilities: The Place of Feasibility in Political Theory.Eva Erman & Niklas Möller - 2020 - Res Publica 26:1-23.
    Although the discussion about feasibility in political theory is still in its infancy, some important progress has been made in the last years to advance our understanding. In this paper, we intend to make a contribution to this growing literature by investigating the proper place of feasibility considerations in political theory. A motivating force behind this study is a suspicion that many presumptions made about feasibility in several current debates—such as that between practice-independence and practice-dependence, ideal and non-ideal theory, and (...)
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  • Political Legitimacy as an Existential Predicament.Thomas Fossen - forthcoming - Political Theory:009059172110478.
    This essay contributes to developing a new approach to political legitimacy by asking what is involved in judging the legitimacy of a regime from a practical point of view. It is focused on one aspect of this question: the role of identity in such judgment. I examine three ways of understanding the significance of identity for political legitimacy: the foundational, associative, and agonistic picture. Neither view, I claim, persuasively captures the dilemmas of judgment in the face of disagreement and uncertainty (...)
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  • Principles, Practices and Disciplinary Power Struggles in Political Theory.Janosch Prinz - 2020 - European Journal of Political Theory 19 (2):270-280.
    The Practical Turn in Political Theory sounds like the monograph political theorists have been waiting for – a monograph that identifies ‘practices’ as a uniting theme that runs through several recently influential debates on non-ideal theory, practice dependence, realism and pragmatist theories of legitimacy and democracy, and then discusses the promise and limits of this uniting theme for the future of political theory. However, The Practical Turn is driven by selective portrayals, omissions and misrepresentation, and hence is not a good (...)
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  • Radicalizing Realist Legitimacy.Ben Cross - 2019 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 46 (4):369-389.
    Several critics of realist theories of political legitimacy have alleged that it possesses a problematic bias towards the status quo. This bias is thought to be reflected in the way in which these...
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  • Power, Norms and Theory. A Meta-Political Inquiry.Tim Heysse - 2017 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 20 (2):163-185.
    Realism criticizes the idea, central to what may be called ‘the priority view’, that philosophy has the task of imposing from the outside general norms of morality or standards of reasonableness on politics understood as the domain of power. According to realism, political philosophy must reveal the specific standards internal to the political practice of handling power appropriately and as it develops in actual circumstances. Framed in those terms, the debate evokes the idea that political power itself is lacking normativity (...)
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  • Political Legitimacy and the Unreliability of Language.Eva Erman & Niklas Möller - 2016 - Public Reason 8 (1-2).
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  • Power, Norms and Theory. A Meta-Political Inquiry.Tim6 Heysse - 2015 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-23.
    Realism criticizes the idea, central to what may be called ‘the priority view’, that philosophy has the task of imposing from the outside general norms of morality or standards of reasonableness on politics understood as the domain of power. According to realism, political philosophy must reveal the specific standards internal to the political practice of handling power appropriately and as it develops in actual circumstances. Framed in those terms, the debate evokes the idea that political power itself is lacking normativity (...)
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  • Language and Legitimacy: Is Pragmatist Political Theory Fallacious?Thomas Fossen - 2019 - European Journal of Political Theory 18 (2):293-305.
    Eva Erman and Niklas Möller have recently criticised a range of political theorists for committing a pragmatistic fallacy, illicitly drawing normative conclusions from politically neutral ideas abo...
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