Is Political Philosophy Impossible?: Thoughts and Behaviour in Normative Political Theory

Is Political Philosophy Impossible?: Thoughts and Behaviour in Normative Political Theory

by Jonathan Floyd


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781107450523
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 09/07/2017
Series: Contemporary Political Theory Series
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.67(d)

About the Author

Jonathan Floyd is a Lecturer in Political Theory at the University of Bristol. He has written widely on questions of method and justification in political philosophy and is co-editor of Political Philosophy versus History (Cambridge, 2011).

Table of Contents

Part I. Introduction: 1. What is this book about?; 2. Synopsis of chapter one; 3. Synopsis of chapter two; 4. Synopsis of chapter three; 5. Who am I to say this?; Part II. Symptom: Interminability: 6. Overview; 7. Three questions: OQ, FQ, SQ; 8. Rawls and a few of his rivals; 9. A reassessment of the problem and a switch in literature; 10. Isaiah Berlin: from value-pluralism, to universal evils, to liberalism; 11. Rawls' second set of answers: from reasonableness to liberalism; 12. United by an ideal of democracy?; 13. United by an ideal of tolerance?; 14. Stuart Hampshire and a second argument from universal evils; 15. Joseph Raz: practical reason as a guide to political morality; 16. Alasdair Macintyre: competing traditions as a guide to morality; 17. Rorty's liberalism by redescription; 18. A variety of further responses: denial, judgement, deferral; 19. Interminability described; the impossibility thesis introduced; 20. The impossibility thesis sustained; 21. Summary of arguments and a sketch of what follows; Part III. Diagnosis: Mentalism: 22. Introduction; 23. What mentalism is; 24. Mentalism's techniques; 25. Three types of mentalist evidence and a synopsis of why mentalism fails; 26.1. The evidence for failure: impartial choices; 26.2. The evidence for failure: considered judgements; 26.3. The evidence for failure: intuitive choices of abstract principle; 27. Normative dissonance in full view; 28. Objections and clarifications; 29. The problem restated; Part IV. Cure: Normative Behaviourism: 30. Introduction; 31. Normative behaviourism: a brief sketch; 32.1. Preliminaries: facts, principles, thoughts, and behavior; 32.2. Preliminaries: reasonable objections, causes/purposes, reliable tendencies, and the case for experimental optimism; 33. An explanatory theory of social-liberal-democracy's success; 34. The relationship between normative behaviourism, psychological behaviourism, political behaviouralism, and political science more generally; 35. Reasons to be convinced by social-liberal-democracy; 36. Normative behaviourism defended against five objections; 37. Conclusions; Part V. Conclusion: 38. Overview; 39. Reiteration: out of the cave and on the way to Denmark; 40. Clarification by way of a new set of comparisons; 41. Concessions and reflections.

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