The feasibility issue

Philosophy Compass 13 (8):e12509 (2018)
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It is commonly taken for granted that questions of feasibility are highly relevant to our normative thinking – and perhaps especially our normative thinking about politics. But what exactly does this preoccupation with feasibility amount to, and in what forms if any is it warranted? This article aims to provide a critical introduction to, and clearer characterization of, the feasibility issue. I begin by discussing the question of how feasibility is to be understood. I then turn to the question of feasibility’s role, suggesting that there are two quite different kinds of role questions that may be at play, though they are often run together: a question about feasibility’s normative significance; and a question about its proper use in informing our normative thinking. Finally, I consider how the feasibility issue differs from certain other related issues: the demandingness issue; the issue of whether “ought” implies “can;” and the “ideal versus non-ideal theory” issue.
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Archival date: 2018-04-23
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