Reality and Imagination in Political Theory and Practice: On Raymond Geuss' Realism

European Journal of Political Theory, Vol. 9, No. 4, pp. 204-212, 2009

13 Pages Posted: 29 Feb 2012

Date Written: March 29, 2009

Abstract

Can political theory be action-guiding without relying on pre-political normative commitments? I answer that question affirmatively by unpacking two related tenets of Raymond Geuss’ political realism: the view that political philosophy should not be a branch of ethics, and the ensuing empirically-informed conception of legitimacy. I argue that the former idea can be made sense of by reference to Hobbes’ account of authorization, and that realist legitimacy can be normatively salient in so far as it stands in the correct relation to a theory of justice and problematizes its sources of value through what Geuss terms ‘political imagination’.

Keywords: Authority, Critical Theory, Geuss, Imagination, Legitimacy, Political Realism, Power

Suggested Citation

Rossi, Enzo, Reality and Imagination in Political Theory and Practice: On Raymond Geuss' Realism (March 29, 2009). European Journal of Political Theory, Vol. 9, No. 4, pp. 204-212, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2013321

Enzo Rossi (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam ( email )

Department of Political Science
Oudezijds Achterburgwal 237
Amsterdam, 1012 DL
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://uva.academia.edu/EnzoRossi

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