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Behaviour and thoughts: for a pluralistic model of empirically-informed political philosophy

Baderin, A. (2023) Behaviour and thoughts: for a pluralistic model of empirically-informed political philosophy. Political Studies Review, 21 (3). pp. 476-482. ISSN 1478-9302

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1177/14789299231163469


Is Political Philosophy Impossible? develops a distinctive and powerful vision of empirically-informed political philosophy: one that gives a central role to data about what people do, rather than what they think or say. Here I offer some critical reflections on this “normative behaviourist” account of how, and why, we should integrate normative theorizing with empirical research. I suggest that normative behaviourism is at once too ambitious and too restrictive concerning the role of social scientific data in political philosophy. On the one hand, it implicates philosophy in complex and contested issues in criminology, and developing the approach to address more fine-grained normative problems would place unrealistic demands on the empirical data. On the other hand, the emphasis on crime and insurrection excludes alternative valuable forms of empirical evidence from normative theorizing. I conclude by defending a more modest and pluralistic picture of data-sensitive political philosophy.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Politics, Economics and International Relations > Politics and International Relations
ID Code:111415


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