The role of interpretation of existing practice in normative political argument

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

In political theory concerned with normative evaluations and prescriptions facts can play two roles: 1) Facts can be of importance for the application of general normative principles to particular cases, and 2) facts can be of importance for the justification of normative principles as such. Political realists are critical of the first role, which they take to express a conception of political theory as ‘applied moral philosophy’. The paper investigates how interpretation of existing practices can be part of the second justificatory role, as suggested by proponents of different versions of contextualism and practice-dependence. The paper focuses on Andrea Sangiovanni’s methodological claims about social interpretation to illustrate both how facts can be part of the justification of principles and how interpretation is also faced with a number of problems as a way of justifying normative principles. The paper finally argues that some of these problems can be avoided if one considers the two roles together; what enables interpretation of facts as part of the justification of normative principles precisely is that application and justification are not separate exercises.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCritical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy
Volume22
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)87-102
Number of pages16
ISSN1369-8230
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019

Keywords

  • politisk filosofi
  • politisk teori
  • practice-dependence
  • metodologi
  • fortolkning

Cite this

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title = "The role of interpretation of existing practice in normative political argument",
abstract = "In political theory concerned with normative evaluations and prescriptions facts can play two roles: 1) Facts can be of importance for the application of general normative principles to particular cases, and 2) facts can be of importance for the justification of normative principles as such. Political realists are critical of the first role, which they take to express a conception of political theory as ‘applied moral philosophy’. The paper investigates how interpretation of existing practices can be part of the second justificatory role, as suggested by proponents of different versions of contextualism and practice-dependence. The paper focuses on Andrea Sangiovanni’s methodological claims about social interpretation to illustrate both how facts can be part of the justification of principles and how interpretation is also faced with a number of problems as a way of justifying normative principles. The paper finally argues that some of these problems can be avoided if one considers the two roles together; what enables interpretation of facts as part of the justification of normative principles precisely is that application and justification are not separate exercises.",
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The role of interpretation of existing practice in normative political argument. / Lægaard, Sune.

In: Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, Vol. 22, No. 1, 01.2019, p. 87-102.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

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PY - 2019/1

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AB - In political theory concerned with normative evaluations and prescriptions facts can play two roles: 1) Facts can be of importance for the application of general normative principles to particular cases, and 2) facts can be of importance for the justification of normative principles as such. Political realists are critical of the first role, which they take to express a conception of political theory as ‘applied moral philosophy’. The paper investigates how interpretation of existing practices can be part of the second justificatory role, as suggested by proponents of different versions of contextualism and practice-dependence. The paper focuses on Andrea Sangiovanni’s methodological claims about social interpretation to illustrate both how facts can be part of the justification of principles and how interpretation is also faced with a number of problems as a way of justifying normative principles. The paper finally argues that some of these problems can be avoided if one considers the two roles together; what enables interpretation of facts as part of the justification of normative principles precisely is that application and justification are not separate exercises.

KW - politisk filosofi

KW - Politisk teori

KW - Practice Dependence

KW - metodologi

KW - fortolkning

KW - politisk filosofi

KW - politisk teori

KW - practice-dependence

KW - metodologi

KW - fortolkning

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SP - 87

EP - 102

JO - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy

JF - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy

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