The dissertation investigates political philosophy’s practical function by focusing on its concerns with the desirability of its principles and on how it manages feasibility requirements. Different combinations between desirability and feasibility give rise to different methodological strategies. Merits and limits of similar methodologies are assessed with reference to a model of realistic utopianism outlined starting from Rawls’s approach, a model of realism based on Machiavelli’s reflection, and a model of utopianism drawn from Plato’s political thought. Realistic utopianism reveals unsatisfactory: its attempted synthesis between desirability and feasibility implies ambiguities and leads political philosophy to improperly adjust the theoretical adequacy of its principles to considerations of practical relevance. Realism and utopianism escape similar shortfalls and they satisfactorily vindicate their models. The dissertation also distinguishes between political philosophy’s prescriptive and evaluative functions, which rely on different notions of normativity – a comparative notion the former, a transcendent one the latter – and which envisage diverse roles for feasibility constraints. Examining the requirements of practical relevance connected to prescriptive principles and to evaluative models, the dissertation suggests that prescription is better served by realism, while evaluation better fits utopianism.

Precarious Equilibrium : Political Philosophy between Desirability and Feasibility / F. Pasquali ; A. Besussi, P. Martelli. - : . DIPARTIMENTO DI STUDI SOCIALI E POLITICI, 2009 Mar 31. ((21. ciclo, Anno Accademico 2008/2009.

Precarious Equilibrium : Political Philosophy between Desirability and Feasibility

F. Pasquali
2009-03-31

Abstract

The dissertation investigates political philosophy’s practical function by focusing on its concerns with the desirability of its principles and on how it manages feasibility requirements. Different combinations between desirability and feasibility give rise to different methodological strategies. Merits and limits of similar methodologies are assessed with reference to a model of realistic utopianism outlined starting from Rawls’s approach, a model of realism based on Machiavelli’s reflection, and a model of utopianism drawn from Plato’s political thought. Realistic utopianism reveals unsatisfactory: its attempted synthesis between desirability and feasibility implies ambiguities and leads political philosophy to improperly adjust the theoretical adequacy of its principles to considerations of practical relevance. Realism and utopianism escape similar shortfalls and they satisfactorily vindicate their models. The dissertation also distinguishes between political philosophy’s prescriptive and evaluative functions, which rely on different notions of normativity – a comparative notion the former, a transcendent one the latter – and which envisage diverse roles for feasibility constraints. Examining the requirements of practical relevance connected to prescriptive principles and to evaluative models, the dissertation suggests that prescription is better served by realism, while evaluation better fits utopianism.
BESUSSI, ANTONELLA
MARTELLI, PAOLO
political philosophy ; desirability ; feasibility ; realism ; utopianism ; normativity ; Rawls ; Machiavelli ; Plato
Settore SPS/01 - Filosofia Politica
Settore SPS/04 - Scienza Politica
Precarious Equilibrium : Political Philosophy between Desirability and Feasibility / F. Pasquali ; A. Besussi, P. Martelli. - : . DIPARTIMENTO DI STUDI SOCIALI E POLITICI, 2009 Mar 31. ((21. ciclo, Anno Accademico 2008/2009.
Doctoral Thesis
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/58611
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