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The methodology of political theory

List, Christian and Valentini, Laura (2016) The methodology of political theory. In: Cappelen, Herman, Gendler, Tamar Szabó and Hawthorne, John, (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Methodology. Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK. ISBN 9780199668779

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This article examines the methodology of a core branch of contemporary political theory or philosophy: “analytic” political theory. After distinguishing political theory from related fields, such as political science, moral philosophy, and legal theory, the article discusses the analysis of political concepts. It then turns to the notions of principles and theories, as distinct from concepts, and reviews the methods of assessing such principles and theories (e.g., the reflective-equilibrium method), for the purpose of justifying or criticizing them. Finally, it looks at a recent debate on how abstract and idealized political theory should be, and assesses the significance of disagreement in political theory. The discussion is carried out from an angle inspired by the philosophy of science.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 Oxford University Press
Divisions: Government
Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2016 11:33
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2021 23:03

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