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Ideal vs. non-ideal theory: a conceptual map

Valentini, Laura (2012) Ideal vs. non-ideal theory: a conceptual map. Philosophy Compass, 7 (9). pp. 654-664. ISSN 1747-9991

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Identification Number: 10.1111/j.1747-9991.2012.00500.x


This article provides a conceptual map of the debate on ideal and non-ideal theory. It argues that this debate encompasses a number of different questions, which have not been kept sufficiently separate in the literature. In particular, the article distinguishes between the following three interpretations of the ‘ideal vs. non-ideal theory’ contrast: (i) full compliance vs. partial compliance theory; (ii) utopian vs. realistic theory; (iii) end-state vs. transitional theory. The article advances critical reflections on each of these sub-debates, and highlights areas for future research in the field.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: ©2012 The Author.
Divisions: Government
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JC Political theory
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2015 11:50
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 01:33

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