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The Sources of Political Normativity: the Case for Instrumental and Epistemic Normativity in Political Realism

Abstract : istinctively political normative judgements that have nothing to do with morality. The irst ground is instrumental normativity, which states that if we believe that something is a necessary means to a goal we have, we have a reason to do it. In politics, certain means are required by any ends we may intend to pursue. The second ground is epistemic normativity, stating that if something is (empirically) true, this gives us a reason to believe it. In politics, there are certain empirical regularities that ought to be acknowledged for what they are. Both sources are lawed. Instrumental normativity only requires coherence between attitudes and beliefs, and one can hang on to false beliefs to preserve attitudes incompatible with reality. I may desire to eschew power relations, and accordingly I may imagine politics to be like a camping trip. Epistemic normativity, on the other hand, operates critically, striking down existing normative claims. It shows us that politics is nothing like a camp-ing trip, but it doesn’t tell us what we should do about it (beyond abandoning some false beliefs). We conclude by showing that if the two are taken together, they remedy each other’s laws.
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Contributor : Chiara Destri Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, January 27, 2022 - 5:37:50 PM
Last modification on : Friday, April 1, 2022 - 3:57:38 AM

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Chiara Destri, Carlo Burelli. The Sources of Political Normativity: the Case for Instrumental and Epistemic Normativity in Political Realism. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Springer Verlag, 2021, pp.1-17. ⟨10.1007/s10677-021-10243-y⟩. ⟨hal-03546148⟩

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