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A Horse in the Basement Nietzschean Reflections on Political Philosophy

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image of Journal of Moral Philosophy

Political philosophers often see their task in providing a justification of states, with 'justification' understood, in analogy to the theological use of the term, as an argument showing states to be right, or unobjectionable. Political philosophers disagree on what property of a state it is that is required for its being right. In fact, it is difficult to see what could give this or that property of a state its right-making power. Since there is nothing that states as such are called upon to be or to do, claims to the effect that some property or other is right-making are unfounded. The task of justification falling away, then, political philosophers should rather ask what should be done now with states.


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