Ideology and political association : an account of ideological understanding in terms of its relationship to political authority and practice
This thesis is an account of ideology as constitutive of manners of political life. I begin by discussing the uses of the term 'ideology' in the writings of Marx, Weldon and Oakeshott. I identify these uses in terms of their common normative form and then pass to a consideration of my own approach to the subject (introduction). Chapter one argues, in terms of a distinction between doing and making, that ideology cannot be understood as a theoretical idiom. In Chapter two I seek to show that the idea of political authority is unintelligible without the concept of ideology. Chapter three argues that ideology is an ethical understanding related to political practice in terms of the sentiments or motives in which people act. In Chapter four it is argued that the authority of political actions is connected to manner or style in conduct, and that ideological understandings are symbolised in style or manner of action. In Chapter five I attend to the subjectivity of ideology by an examination of ethical reflection. Chapter six considers the question of the objectivity of ideology. I argue for a certain form of ethical relativism and show the relevance of this to the understanding of political practice. In conclusion I discuss the relationship between language and the idea of the state as ethical association.