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Title: Politics and the limits of philosophy : political realism and the limits of the political realist critique
Author: Kim, Hwa Young
ISNI:       0000 0004 8497 686X
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis will argue that political theory is a diverse field with many questions that can be asked. Because of this, the disagreement between political realism and moralism is not as stark as it may seem. There are four main sections in this thesis. The first section (chapter 1-2) will discuss the idea of a distinctively political normativity. Political realists argue that there is a normativity internal to politics, and we should not apply external moral standards to the domain of politics. I discuss the main strategies that political realists have used to establish this distinctively political normativity and show that they fail to achieve the result political realists want. The second section (chapter 3-4) develops a version of political realism and the political realist critique that does not rely on a distinctively political normativity. I argue that political realists want political theorists to theorise about politics with an ethic of responsibility. Chapter 4 applies the political realist critique to three examples of political philosophy. The third section (chapter 5-6) develops the moralist response. It is here that I show that not all political philosophy has to guide real political agents engage in political struggle directly. Chapter 5 discusses the many roles that political theory can play, and the political realist attempt to limit political theory is unsuccessful. Chapter 6 shows how even political theorists who are interested in stability do not have to theorise about politics in the way that political realists want. Finally, the last section (chapter 7) discusses how the political realist position relies on several metaethical/metaphysical claims about how our moral convictions are the product of a particular history. I argue that this scepticism is implausible because it attempts to undermine the validity of moral justification through an explanation of how we obtained our convictions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: University of Warwick
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BJ Ethics ; JA Political science (General) ; JZ International relations