PDC Homepage

Home » Products » Purchase

Social Theory and Practice

Volume 45, Issue 4, October 2019

Naima Chahboun
Pages 549-578

Ideal Theory and Action-Guidance
Why We Still Disagree

This article clarifies the disagreement concerning ideal theory’s action-guiding capacity through the unpacking of two underlying disagreements. The first concerns the threshold for action-guidance on the scales of empirical and normative determinacy; I argue that the dispute between critics and proponents of ideal theory is not about whether ideal principles offer some specific information, but about which information should count as action-guiding. The second concerns the task of normative principles; I argue that the different weight critics and proponents attribute to the risks associated with ideal theory may reflect diverging views on whether principles primarily generate or explain normative judgments.

Usage and Metrics