Chapter

Getting ‘Real’ About Political Ideas: Conceptual Morphology and the Realist Critique of Anglo-American Political Philosophy

Mathew Humphrey

in Liberalism as Ideology

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199600670
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738203 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199600670.003.0013
Getting ‘Real’ About Political Ideas: Conceptual Morphology and the Realist Critique of Anglo-American Political Philosophy

Show Summary Details

Preview

We are currently seeing an upsurge of ‘realism’ in political philosophy, in the work of theorists such as Raymond Geuss and the late Bernard Williams. A key part of this work is a critique of Anglo-American ‘ideal’ political philosophy. This chapter argues that we find a very similar critique of analytical political philosophy in the work, from Ideologies and Political Theory onwards, of Michael Freeden. Both Freeden and the realists stress the importance of historical contingency, the autonomy of the political, and the ideological nature of political philosophy—all features that they take ideal theory to neglect. It is, however, also important to understand what distinguishes Michael Freeden’s work from realism. Whereas the latter offer an alternative conception of how to do first-order political philosophy, Freeden sees his work as engaging in a second-order exercise of ideology analysis.

Keywords: realism; ideal theory; ideology; Raymond Geuss; Bernard Williams; ideology analysis

Chapter.  8052 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.