Justice, Legitimacy, and (Normative) Authority for Political Realists

Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
One of the main challenges faced by realists in political philosophy is that of offering an account of authority that is genuinely normative and yet does not consist of a moralistic application of general, abstract ethical principles to the practice of politics. Political moralists typically start by devising a conception of justice based on their pre-political moral commitments; authority would then be legitimate only if political power is exercised in accordance with justice. As an alternative to that dominant approach I put forward the idea that upturning the relationship between justice and legitimacy affords a normative notion of authority that does not depend on a pre-political account of morality, and thus avoids some serious problems faced by mainstream theories of justice. I then argue that the appropriate purpose of justice is simply to specify the implementation of an independently grounded conception of legitimacy, which in turn rests on a context- and practice-sensitive understanding of the purpose of political power.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Revision history
Archival date: 2015-11-21
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
Liberalism and the Limits of Justice.Sandel, Michael; Macintyre, Alasdair; Barber, Benjamin & Taylor, Charles

View all 20 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Political Realism as Ideology Critique.Prinz, Janosch & Rossi, Enzo

View all 28 citations / Add more citations

Added to PP index

Total views
710 ( #3,445 of 42,358 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
108 ( #4,330 of 42,358 )

How can I increase my downloads?

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