Taking Politics Seriously - but Not Too Seriously

Philosophy 94 (2):271-94 (2019)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
John Rawls’ gamification of justice leads him – along with many other monist political philosophers, not least Ronald Dworkin – to fail to take politics seriously enough. I begin with why we consider games frivolous and then show how Rawls’ theory of justice is not merely analogous to a game, as he himself seems to claim, but is in fact a kind of game. As such, it is harmful to political practice in two ways: one as regards the citizens who participate directly in it, and the other as regards those who do no more than follow it. Similar harms, I then argue, come from taking politics too seriously, which is the attitude I ascribe to pluralist political philosophers such as Isaiah Berlin, Stuart Hampshire, and Bernard Williams. To them, the plural, incommensurable nature of values means that they cannot be reconciled and so that politics must be a matter of negotiating dirty, and often tragic, compromises. What we need instead, I conclude, is a third way, one that is neither monist nor pluralist but in-between the two extremes.
Categories
(categorize this paper)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
BLATPS-4
Revision history
First archival date: 2019-04-25
Latest version: 2 (2019-04-28)
View upload history
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2019-04-25

Total views
135 ( #28,250 of 50,123 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
30 ( #20,999 of 50,123 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.