Is Power Noumenal in Nature?

Dialogue 60 (2):237 - 255 (2021)
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Abstract

This paper engages Rainer Forst’s doctrine of noumenal power. At the centre of this doctrine is its signature claim that power is noumenal in nature. I reconstruct Forst’s definition of power and distinguish three conceptions of noumenal power in his writings. I argue that, on each conception, we should reject that claim. It emerges that the professed noumenality of power is either a trivial feature of power, or else a feature only of some forms of power. Consequently, Forst’s definition of power cannot be adequate and the claim that power is noumenal in nature is either trivial or false.

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Thomas M. Besch
Wuhan University

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