Epistemological Problems in political science

Classified in Other subjects

Written at on English with a size of 109.15 KB.


1 .- Concept, approaches and methods of political science.

It could be argued, not without some justification, that political science is a discipline in search of their subject. This lack of definition of a well-defined object is due, no doubt, to the variety and heterogeneity of both the theories and methods used in it. Naturally, the question about how an object has to be analyzed and how it should be understood theoretically, always depend on what is determined as the subject and the issues that arise. Consequently, the socio-political reality can only be partially captured by the various theorists on the basis of their concepts of society and politics of their respective basic theoretical orientation, their disciplinary expertise, and so on., But also, as we shall see below - their respective socio-political situation.
The enormous wealth of terminological statements that qualify for this discipline (Political Sociology, Political Law, State Theory, Political Science, etc ...) is quite expressive of the variety of methodological and academic with functional specializations before us . Even in USA, where the homogeneity is higher methodological and Political Science where the name is used without question, the discipline also appears as lacking "a set of generally accepted methods and techniques" (Sommità and Tanenhaus, 1982, pp. 14 -- 15). No wonder, then, that we find different definitions of it, which usually revolve around the different way of thinking about politics, which depends, in turn, the specific theory and method adopted.
Karl von Beyme, one of the authors that has been most concerned to systematize his statement, in his contemporary political theories, it encompasses two major blocks-integrative theories against conflicting theories, according to the basic concepts underlying it. In a more detailed analysis begins by highlighting the existence of "three theories of science" or "starting points meta-theory": the ontological-normative, empirical-analytical and critical-dialectical. To these would be linked approaches: historical-genetic, institutional, behaviorist, structural-functionalist and comparative entrecruzarían that scientific theories with the three brands. For example, states that "the behaviorist approach seems more closely tied to the meta-empirical-analytic theory. A critical-dialectical theories they can recognize a certain predilection for historical approaches, and normative theories both in the approach the historical and institutional "(pp. 116-7). These distinctions, however, are controversial because of its oversimplification, for his qualifying heat, so it generally tends to stay in the tripartite before alluded to, at least among European political scientists. In USA you prefer the more simplistic division between the mainstream method of Political Science, first inspired by the positivist paradigm, and the thought or method "radical" approach using a phenomenological hermeneutical Marxist or the other.
While we accept the tripartite division of von Beyme, we should make some preliminary observations of a general nature. First, it must be said that the study of the matters dealt with by the social sciences leads to problems specific to those produced by the subject of dealing with natural sciences. For the study in the social sciences is essentially an analysis of restrictions and conditions constitute the social conscience. The analytical separation between subject and object becomes, at least, hard and shallow.
Karl Popper is right when he says that theories are nets cast "to apprehend reality, rationalize it, explain it and master it" (1969: 31), but do not forget that the investigator himself is part of that reality which seeks to trap and rated. This means, in principle, not be separated method and object, and that science and society are not two "objects" independent and separate from each other, as has been optimistically believing positivism.
There is no need to recall that political science is born under certain social conditions, such as the emergence and establishment of the modern state and the application of the assumptions of modern natural science, following the Newtonian model, wins the right to social recognition, which gradually transferred to the analysis of society and politics, still heavily dependent on its origins theocentric approaches social ground.
The further consolidation of the empirical-analytic method in Western countries after the Second World War, which ultimately led to the disciplinary autonomy and academic political science has only occurred once settled the political system of liberal democratic state of law, which evaluative framework was assumed. Your challenge in the sixties and seventies by the student movements of the human rights advocates, the anti-racist, anti-Vietnam, etc., was also triggered the onset of the crisis of this method contemplative and rather condescending with the status quo (or established order), and led to the increasing influence of neo-Marxist approach and the "rehabilitation" of a method such as ontological-normative, more concerned with the re-establishment of a rationality of ends, this concern it is a clearly discernible shared by these two currents fundamental methodological criticism.
A reflection on them will necessarily take this into account. Hence, our discussion is not confined to deploy each of these theories, placing them side by side, either statically, which would freeze all the tension, all disputes that arise among them. To avoid this, try to reflect the implicit or explicit tension between their way of thinking about policy and his studio. Only then can see the light of the basic problems with which every person is faced with scientific analysis of politics.


A) the positivist approach of empirical theories-ANALYTICAL

These theories revolve around methodological paradigm of positivism, understood this movement in a broad sense. Share, therefore, the attempt to exercise social science modeled on natural science. It is set to reach accurate and verifiable as to obtain general access to methodically established and cumulative knowledge can describe, explain and prognostic the occurrence of future political and social phenomena. Needless to say there are many theories that move within this general framework, so it necessarily requires the use of a selection of them, and it followed the approach of their influence on political analysis are within this same paradigm. Start with the "critical rationalism" of Popper and H. Albert (i), going after the behavior (ii) as a dominant movement in American political science and sociological research, to finally deal with the so-called post-behaviorism (iii).

(i) the critical rationalism of Karl R. Popper

In the words of Popper, in his important work The logic of scientific research can only be justified rationally, and always provisionally, that theory or processing strategy of reality "that" in light of a thorough and critical discussion strong consideration, seems by far the best "(1975: 132). The purpose of rationalist theories lies in providing statements and information, accurate and "falsifiable" about reality. Since any statement can be sufficiently substantiated, can not speak of "justification" itself, but investigated or prosecuted "critical". In justification, it is replaced by the idea of "critical", "of the critical discussion of all the statements in question by rational argument" (Albert, 1968: 35). This rational examination proceed as follows: we propose a tentative solution of problems that must be made on assumptions which may undergo a critique based on logical premises. Refuted solutions lead to new attempts at solution. Those uncontested remain provisionally accepted, as we repeat, no theory can ever be considered finally adopted.
The goal of rationalist theories, therefore, is to offer temporary solutions or attempts, which are always subject to refutation or falsification. (Popper, 1969: 105 et seq.). The objectivity of science resides only then in the objectivity of the methodological approaches used. In particular, in the absence of logical contradictions and empirical verification of hypotheses.
For their lack of adaptation to the experience, are excluded, therefore, metaphysical questions, and those theories "totalizing" or "universalist" who try to generalize assumptions valid for certain isolated cases to broader factual circumstances, as For example, according to Popper, with the Hegelian-Marxist theories. Popper, in effect, proposes that social analysis is limited to particular problems or specific areas in order to obtain a "partial technology. However, the bias lies in the object, not the method that is extensible to the analysis of any parcel of social life and benefits from the advances and attempts of related disciplines. Thus, social scientific analysis would capture the socio-political reality of an ongoing process of trial and error, measuring the scientific development by the continued expansion of its degree of empirical verifiability. The more strictly upholding this procedure for obtaining, securing and revision of knowledge, the more it will expand the content of the statements and reality much better you can streamline the process of scientific discussion. The maintenance of this procedure allows scientific communication and thus creates a core budget for the corresponding correction of the results.
Here comes the political dimension of this method because its implementation would only be possible in an "open society" (which Popper identifies with the "Western democracies"), whose goals were established through a rational discussion, orderly and open, allow gradual and measured reforms, free of "false prophets" who introduced into the analysis "theoretical illusions" and "rationalizing ideologies" (Popper, 1958 II). Only in this kind of society would be possible to imagine the performance of the work "correcting" the "scientific community" that not only help to challenge false theories, but also provide the assumptions of a social science that apart from explaining facts outside social reality also applies to practical politics.

(ii) The Behaviourist

The proper approach involving political scientist of the positivist paradigm is certainly the one used by behaviorists currents of American political science. Their backgrounds are to be found in the work of Bentley (1908) and Merriam (1925), and find their schematic presentation on the theory of David Easton's political system (1960).
The merit of the first two authors cited is to have extracted the method of analysis of the politics of traditional legal method to bring it to a more sociological positivism, which is what his country would triumph in thirty years later. The work of Easton, The Political System (1953), is perhaps the first embodiment theoretical importance in this approach, the author would systematize in their important work, A Framework for Political Analysis (1965), a true manifesto of behaviorism applied to Political Science. Easton said core eight features of this method (1965: 7 et seq.), Comprising six, while introducing some qualifications.
Schematically would be:
1 .- In the political reality there regularities that can be apprehended, that can be expressed in theories or generalizations with predictive value. Meta behavioristic political science is not pure then the description of political events, but basically his explanation and prediction.
This should appeal to nomological statements supported by empirical regularities. In its search for regularities and generalizations are used, however, purely empirical, but attempts to access statements "theoretical", which, unlike them, are not left through procedures apprehend directly observable. But demand introduced by other factors such as, for example, provisions or personality traits that can be apprehended only indirectly empirical, that is, using various indicators, indices or theoretical constructs can bring them to light. From there the investigation must proceed systematically and cumulatively to allow continuous progress of knowledge gained.
2 .- The theories should aim to verifiability and objectivity. This must hold their statements to a strictly logical argument, without contradiction, and explicit definitions and consistent; harsh environments are needed to observe, collect and analyze behaviors. It thus becomes essential to quantifying and measuring data. The requirement as closely as possible the results of the investigation involves an attempt to clarify and standardize the processing and the weighting of the data using mathematical and statistical procedures. This will expand the possibilities of its verifiability and its usefulness for comparative analysis.
3 .- We must maintain the necessary logical separation between facts and values (Wertfreiheit). This idea prevalent throughout the positivism, assumes that the value judgments are not justified by empirical methods. Only be empirically verifiable cognitive statements, statements about how the world is not how it should be.
We face the problem raised by the naturalistic fallacy (Hume), which rejects the possibility unscientific logic values derive from mere factual judgments. Consequently, political science must refrain from making judgments, excluding women, both its methodological assumptions, as the chosen research field, which vetoes the use for such purposes, concepts such as liberty, equality, etc.. And even the use of more or less abstract concepts, such as society, social class, or even state. Later we will devote a special section to this issue by its undeniable importance logic and methodology.
4 .- The research must be systematically related to the theory. In theory this would distinguish Easton systems (or others, as Almond, for example) the first behaviorism radical empiricism, characterized by its raw inductivism. Easton, undoubtedly influenced by the structural-functionalist theory of Talcott Parsons and the theory of systems "cybernetics" of Karl Deutsch (1969, 1970), looking at the idea of system that allows an analytical concept perceive society as a whole: in their mechanisms and structural relationships and its functioning unit. With the construction of an abstract reference point or frame-work than could be capturing the traditional concepts of political analysis (power, institution, etc.). In category "scientific" to be valid even outside the same context. What characterizes the political system as a particular system of society, would be the "authoritative allocation of values". But the fundamental problem lies not only in how you "generate" these decisions on "values", or how or by what "costs" are imposed, but most especially in how binding are, in how they articulate the in-puts and out-puts the politicians. In this regard, while the reference point is the "conduct" as offered to the empirical analysis, it is necessary to introduce other "theoretical units" who can articulate it "systematically".
5 .- Interdisciplinarity. It assumes that political science must make use of concepts, techniques and results of other nearby social sciences, whose contributions help to enrich and develop their own achievements.
6 .- The investigation and explanation of political behavior logically precedes the attempt to use the resulting knowledge. Behaviorism claims that the use of scientific knowledge to the achievement of social goals would only be possible once there are enough theories confirmed, and this presupposes, in turn, its systematic accumulation. But in any case, the practical use of this knowledge is in a phase "post-scientific", leaving the free choice of the policy framework. There is thus a disconnect between theory and practice logic.
In these six points can be synthesized mode of action of behaviorism in American political science, which more or less altered and shades was applied during the second half of the fifties and well into the sixties by virtually all political scientists U.S., highlighting names like H. Eulau, D. Truman, VO Key, R. Dalha, G. Almond, etc.. As can be seen, this approach is already implicitly contain some answers to some of the most important methodological problems faced by this discipline, such as the problem of values, the relation theory-praxis, or real or fictional autonomy a framework of "politics" capable of self-study.

(iii) The post-behaviorism

Soon begin, however, and from within their own country, to be reviewed some of the theoretical foundations of behaviorism, also unveiled its effect rationalizing or legitimizing the American political system. Helped, in effect, related sciences and the American political science was limited almost exclusively to collect and compile data and facts, which once organized in hypothesis could only be a "fake" or refuted based on new facts and data generally obtained by the same mechanisms.
From this perspective, political science easily becomes an institution transmitting the knowledge needed for the formation and maintenance of liberal democratic state, whose characterization is based more on formal features and "procedural" descriptive than truly substantive principles. He loses his function theory and practice and, of course, any critical capacity. Hence, as noted by the same David Easton,

"the last revolution-behaviorism had barely completed, when it has already been shaken by the growing political and social crisis of our time." (1969, 1051).

He was referring here to political scientist at the American functionalist serious set of political and ideological developments that marked the cultural crisis of the late 1960s and early seventies, which we have referred briefly earlier.
Since then, the behavioral theorists of politics, pressured by the increasing gravity of the social situation in Western developed democracies, they will find a truly able to "take account" of what was happening, so the problem arises from the relevance of science policy, and review the question of praxis or action. The problem of values also reappears in the foreground. Easton rightly points out that

"Whatever the reasons, the failure to broaden the vision of our basic research may be largely due to the continued hesitation on the standards question our own assumptions and examine the extent that these assumptions determine the selection of problems and their performances last "(1969, 1058).

The immediate consequence of this approach is to expand the object of its analysis to issues previously were neglected or taken for granted, as the same normative basis underlying the American political system, or the difficulty of carrying out a methodological practice Weighted Grade. However, despite the fact that spreads among behavioral theorists its proposal to seek a larger role in the choice of research subjects, there is in it or the most political scientists in the positivist paradigm inspired genuine questioning of the basic methodological assumptions of behaviorism.
Only persons belonging to the then newly created Caucus for A New Political Science (Vid. Surkin and Wolfe, 1970), Marxist-inspired, breaking decisively with the model practiced in the U.S. Political Science, advocate a "social science policy" (ie committed to transforming the American political system).
A special case is surprising is that of G. Almond, who as one of the leading theorists of behaviourism inspiring passes to question its own foundations without the need for a Marxist approach it. For him,

"the mere pursuit of nomological regularities and relationships between variables ... can not explain social facts, but only some of the conditions that influence these events." (Almond and Genk, 1977: 493).

In the social sciences could meet regularly only "soft" also subject to constant change, as they do with the theories of voting behavior or political socialization. Given the inadequacy of deterministic statements, the deductive-nomological explanatory model could not be applied to political science. Hence the difficulty of transferring the method of natural sciences and social sciences, in particular, Political Science. The political reality is constituted by ideas, decisions and goals, constantly confronted with other ideas, other behaviors or nature. The policy is not subject to reactive and mechanical relationships, but must be conceptualized as an adaptive system, planner and creative. What is urgently needed is a political science that draws its methods of classical physics, it fits your purpose. The investigation and understanding of political processes as well be a fundamental political importance, moving into second place means that the effect is introduced. As we shall see, this criticism is rather close to that undertaken by the theories of "normative". But surely Cogent criticism of theories and empirical-analytic metologías is carried out by the radical American sociologist C. Wright Mills in hisThe Sociological Imagination (1970), many of whom are indeed sociological principles applicable to political science.

B) CRITICAL THEORY-dialectical

A frontal confrontation with positivism is already in the theories that are based on radically different from another perspective, as is that of Marxism. Of course, in terms of their impact on political science, there is a reaction against the positivist model of science, let alone in opposition to the American Political Science, but was inspired by a tradition of their own, which is back to the work of Marx and the classics of socialism, but now enriched, as is the case of the Frankfurt School-by contributions from other schools of thought such as phenomenology and hermeneutics and psychoanalysis itself.
These theories, whose origins can be traced back to the second half of the nineteenth century will find, however, a remarkable revival since the sixties as a result of the aforementioned crises and transformations taking place in liberal-democratic societies developed and the inability of sociology and political science traditional to offer an explanation of these phenomena. And then the new public sphere theory posed by the need to confront directly the various streams conventional methodology, particularly in the traditional European to meet the new massively made an appearance from the Americas. This is manifest both in the important "positivism dispute" in German sociology, which pitted the Frankfurt School of critical rationalism (with Popper and Adorno, as leading figures from each side, aided by Albert and Habermas, respectively), and the emergence of a Marxist structuralist approach (Althusser, Poulantzas, Godelier, Lacan, etc.), as in the confrontation between structuralist and existentialist about the relationship between Marxism and humanism in France (Sartre vs. Levi-Strauss, basically).
For the same character Frankfurtian innovative approaches, "the said controversy continues in the seventies with the confrontation between Habermas and Luhmann (see 1971), but in and of entirely different conditions, we choose for our discussion of the Marxist approach the contributions of the Frankfurt School, undoubtedly the most imaginative and innovative of which are inspired by Marxist theory and reserve the exposure of the main elements of the classic Marxist theory to the issue of socialism. The approaches of the Frankfurt School are also those most directly influenced political science progressive European countries. Then analyze their main methodological features to refer later to the specific application to political science.
Critical theory is fundamentally a social theory and as such tries to capture the basic principles of social development, their material conditions. The basic starting point is then in history: the analysis of concrete social situations is seen as a process of historical development. In this emphasis on history are linked two key concepts: the concept of totality and the dialectic, responsible for revealing the inherent principles of historical development. It goes without saying that all these concepts are intimately linked. In this respect Habermas points out that all means in its "strict dialectical sense, which prevents

"apprehend all organically, according to the formula that (this) is more than the sum of its parts, but neither is a category all to be left by the arrest logically determine jointly by all the elements incorporated in it" ( 1969: 155 et seq.).

As Adorno put it, "like the whole can not be separated from life, cooperation and antagonism of its elements, no element can be understood not as mere functioning without inquiring into the whole, which is in individual movement its very essence. " (1959: 127).

It is important then to differentiate the concept of system as it is being used in the empirical-analytical social science.
For Habermas, the concept of "system" is only able to express the interdependent relationship of functions, which are interpreted, in turn, as relationships between variables in social behavior. This "indifference" of the system is necessarily well directed against its scope to produce a forgery of the object. "In social science ... there is a revenge of the object when the subject, still trapped in the apprehension of it, remains attached to the conditioning of that area." Just get rid of it when he "understands the relationship of social support as a determinant of the same whole investigation." It seems clear that as a result, social science would lose its called freedom to choose categories and theoretical models, only known to have only those data that are structured by the set of social totality. "(Adorno, ibid: 125) .
It said so far we can draw some implications and tried to present as systematically as possible:
1 .- Science can not emancipate itself in any stage of activity and social constraints. One of his key achievements lies precisely in the knowledge and reflection on them, their categories are impregnated by their overall social relationship. In Adorno's words, if cryptic, "the object should be enforced in the method of its own weight, if not to be the sharpest method false." (Ibid.: 127). Social science, therefore, not free to choose their categories, but must ensure "priority", the adequacy of their concepts, themes and rules to the object of study. This leads to his critique focuses on the concept of "experience" empirical-analytic theories and on the study "biased" social reality, critical summarized below:
A) Critical theory does not deny that certain empirical situations can be seized and subject to certain formalizations, but its explanatory value would be small, since they are limited to obtaining external regularities and not express how one comes to such situations, the importance that may have for poitica-social processes, social interests they serve, and so on. The empirical analysis, which disregards inquire about what happens after the observable facts, is positivist, remains at the given, as tied to the positive.
B) It becomes clear that this theoretical perspective complaint openly and express both the "division of labor" within each discipline and between different social sciences. The complexity of reality and violently tear, losing the unity of the subject property of all social sciences. Every time we would know more about less, but should we give up a true understanding of reality.
2 .- In the face of social and political science empirical-analytic, as we have seen that did not enter enough on the issue of praxis, left out of scientific interest by imposing methodological, critical theory says the indissoluble unity between theory and practice. Science, especially if it aspires to be a theory of political behavior, decisions must not transfer for value or to a different area, split it, but must also understand the web of social effects produced by its year ie to be incorporated as part in social disputes. That is the sense that this theory is "critical": its goal is social analysis "critical". Should
"dilute the stiffness of the object here and now exists in a field of tension between the real and the possible: each refers to another". (Adorno, 1966: 512).

As a result of their social mediation, the determination of scientific purposes far transcends the purely methodological: contains statements about the social role of science, which, in turn, is only possible within the framework of a true theory of society " (Horkheimer, 1970: 13).

Expressly stipulated positivistic social conception, Habermas then makes the program a "philosophy of history designed explicitly political purposes, yet scientifically falsifiable" (1971: 244).

At the heart of this theory of society imbued with practical political purposes is, of course, the question of constraints and social implications of scientific knowledge, that is, those aspects that positivism had been ignoring. Through a process of introspection, science was aware of his interest in "liberating" because awareness of their embeddedness in social relations allows both its very excess (Habermas, 1971: 9). The central concern of critical theory then lies in trying to justify social action strategies from the analysis of objective historical structures. In this way find their entry into the consciousness of subjects acting socially.
In conclusion, we can say that while the "knowledge interest" of "traditional thinking" would be limited to a system of scientific statements, whose validity is subject to revision or justified it by "scientism", ie positivist theory criticism seeks to question the same claim to validity of the object: society. It is not limited to question whether a theory is feasible, but, equally, if society is valid for investigation. So it can not accept a mere reference to the facts, but aims to reach "the factors behind the facts" (Marcuse). The exercise of this activity would be as praxis itself.
(ii) It is easy to suppose that this way of thinking about social science studies was raised immediately in particular political science, although some of them were not kept strictly to the basic tenets of "old Frankfurtian", as indeed neither Habermas would do the same. Often intermingle analysis of style "of Frankfurt" with other more basic patterns inspired by Marxism, as is the case, and Abendroth Marburg School (Lenk, Kühn, etc.). For whom the task constituent of Political Science
"focuses on the study of the conditions of political power, its specific forms of manifestation, and its evolutionary trends.

The objects of investigation would be essentially "the relationship between political power and society, the institutional consolidation of political power in a public form of dominance, especially of the modern state, political behavior, especially the formation process of the political will as well as theories and ideologies concerning the domination and political praxis "(Abendroth, W., Lenk, K., 1971: 14).

Then there are also studies about the Constitution from the perspective of social theory, where they face the legal principles with the material reality of power structures, or where opposing interpretations of the Constitution which have the existing socio-political reality as the only possible within their precepts (Abendroth, 1967), others impact on the "crisis" in some of the political institutions, as in the studies of Hirsch (1968) on the parliamentary system.But in any case, where his work had an impact was in the analysis of the transformations of capitalism, initiated and developed primarily by Habermas, Offe or Wellmer. It is, however, a political science studies closely linked to social philosophy in general, as required by their methodological premises, and with a strong emphasis on their approach to practice. By re-Abendroth, political science would be like "that part of sociology's task to study all the movements aimed at conserving or transforming the general constitution of society". (1971: 12).

C) REGULATIONS-ontological theory

But opposition to the positivist political science court will not be exclusive of neo-Marxism, but finds one of its most virulent on individual authors as Hannah Arendt, Erick Voegelin and Leo Strauss, all Germans exiled to the U.S., where virtually developed all his theoretical work, and the Freiburg School, located around A. Bergstässer, which includes figures like W. Hennis, or K. Oberndorf. All of them, despite large differences in many respects, be characterized by the rejection of the positivist approach in general and the application of a method inspired by the Aristotelian topical affirms the intimate connection between ethics and politics.
Particularly noteworthy is the context in which these theories arise is not the same as characterizing the positivist and dialectical confrontation but, at least initially, is the result of the experience of the totalitarian and fascist regimes and the Second World War. These events favored a line contrary to the relativism of values, which tended to see the reality of politics, from an ethical requirement. Its importance decreased to some extent during the sixties, especially in the Anglo world, although in recent years has undergone a "rehabilitation" important.
In his book Practical Politics
& Philosophy (1960), described by its author as "a study for the reconstruction of political science," laments the plight Hennis found in the philosophical orientation in contemporary political science, leading to a situation in which "political science has lost sight of the context of questions that motivated it. (p. 27). Similar arguments are found in Strauss and Voegelin. For the latter would have been lost in our discipline "the conscience of the principles" (106: 20), having to recover the science "of their destruction by positivism. The destructive character of positivism would be in two of its main features: on the assumption that

"the methods of mathematics are distinguished by a particular capacity to succeed, and that other sciences could obtain similar success if they follow suit," and hence the derivative idea "that natural science methods offer an approach theoretical relevance ... a reality research scientist character would only apply if the methods of the natural sciences can not generate certain metaphysical questions for which there are no answers by means of the science world phenomena; that the areas of self that are inaccessible to natural science methods are irrelevant and, ultimately result that those areas of self does not exist. " (p. 20-21).

The representatives of this current and resist any attempt to build political science "as a systematic science of the laws of the political-social". (Oberndorf, 1962: 16). From this perspective one would reject both systemic behavioral theories such as Marxist, as both are characterized by applying a causal model for interpreting and understanding of politics as a causal process. Now he will advocate the contrary, a political science and practical philosophy"which is identified with the recognition that the statement of value judgments, determining the order imposed on human action and coexistence and the elucidation of the" purpose of the state "are a legitimate scientific endeavor" (Hennis, p. 69 ).

No wonder then, that the reconstruction of political science "is not possible without returning to the Aristotelian-Platonic episteme. (Voegelin, p. 12).

With Aristotle, these authors distinguish between practical science and theoretical science. Theoretical disciplines are mathematics, physics and metaphysics, his knowledge of nature is contemplative, that is, an end in itself. On the contrary, knowledge of the practical sciences, ethics, economics and politics is oriented toward the good, the good life, and guided by knowledge or phronesis reasonable. This division between theoretical and practical science comes from the object and is imposed by him. While there is theoretical science "without intervention by humans and bears in itself the principle of motion, principles of action are not in the object on which it is addressed, but in the same man (Hennis, 1978, 44 et seq.).

Human action is based on principles of its own, which can be apprehended independently of knowledge of theoretical science. This practical disciplines pose no derivative of theoretical science, but are of a nature (Strauss). This position is based, following Aristotle, in the contingent, not necessary, the objects of practical science. The regularities and constraints in the world of nature would then have no validity for human action. Furthermore, since the accuracy of a science is determined by its object, only it should be expected that accuracy or precision appropriate to the nature of their subject. In the best case, what could be achieved with empirical science would be 'knowledge of probabilities that determine the course of action "(Hennis). Positivism, like all scientific perspectives put the method on the thing. The logic that is inherent in it can bring criteria of "accuracy", but not in a position to provide relevant criteria. Accordingly, positivist political science lack the necessary guidance material and therefore will not produce more than platitudes and well known to common sense (Strauss).
Hanna Arendt, meanwhile, said that was not the man, but men who inhabited the land. He gave this indication necessarily plural configuration to policy issues and also opened an avenue for reflection, whose fulcrum was discussion rather than achieving a consensus on what good or desirable. Guided through the Greek concept of praxis (as virtuous activity) and polis (as orderly and fair community that enables the virtuous life), political science and normative ontological H. Arendt begins reflecting on the socio-political questions facing the possibility of implementing such good order. Remote in this sense of positivism, is about him but considering that reflection tied to abstract categories and static, which accepts the positivist separation between theory and political practice.
The same H. Arendt in her book The Spirit's life reminds us that the answer to the question on how to attain wisdom gave the oracle at Delphi: "Adopt the pallor of the dead." That is, leave the world if you understand it, stay away from the practical implications and leads to the strength of your reason as far as you are able to take you. Dismissing as utopian all attempts to think differently than men and are given in the reality of a society divided into oppositions, conflicts and struggles somehow normativist approach is petrified at what exists and, despite what drives him in the direction of a new configuration of politics, is ultimately tied to what is given as a single criterion of social differentiation. The
If so the quota social existence, while historical is thus enthroned in categories that nonetheless sought to transcend, at least through the power of reflection. What remains to be seen is whether, after all, the reflective power of the human spirit is strong enough, when it refrains from a dialectical and critical consideration, creatively transcending the existence of such domination and division to which men are doomed in his social life.
In any case, the claim of autonomy in political science, subject to a proprietary method different from that of natural science, and the integration of axiological criteria, will be the cornerstones on which to build this methodological approach. But these theories, except for its contributions to the history of political ideas in many truly exceptional cases, have failed until the seventies contribute much to the explanation of social reality, often merely a willingness to promote subjective lacking orientation, and, as some authors have criticized him, designed to affirm what is given, to extract their teleological elements of existing values and goals.
However, the regulatory approach will find a new momentum in the early seventies, being perhaps the turning point for this revitalization the emergence in 1971 of the important work A Theory of Justice by John Rawls, which opens, albeit from a tradition and a completely different assumptions, a new reflection on the rationality of ends soon worn in Political Science. The recent introduction of a separate section of normative theory in the literature review section of the American Political Science Review is very expressive of this state of affairs. However, this regulatory approach lacks some of the methodological features that defined the traditional normative ontological theories just discussed. Since Rawls, in fact, tends to return to Kant and a certain kind of rational dialogue, a point that will coincide authors from different theoretical traditions such as Habermas, from Marxism, Apel, from hermeneutics and Rawls, from analytic philosophy.


There are two basic elements of the positivist theory of knowledge, in general: 1) The establishment of a narrow concept of science that, based on a certain boundary methodological distinction between assertions scientifically sound and pure subjective choices of scientific observation impossible, and 2 ) identification of the scientific with the rational, leading to characterize all alleged knowledge that exceeds its methodological limitations as pure ideology, or emotional activity, and so on.
The acceptance of this double point of departure has the consequence that what is gained in certainty and accuracy of knowledge lost its significance and potentiality in practice. A strict social science is thus reduced to a mere work or sociographic sociometric, which gives only to see the obvious, ie no scope for interpretation, the development of causal hypotheses, and so on. Hence the positivist subsequent attempt to reach an expanded concept of science, allowing greater scope for interpreting the social data, an overview of the social whole, and even some critical conclusions about social reality. This reflects a certain inferiority complex of social sciences in relation to the natural sciences, in the positivist paradigm, remain completely undifferentiated. So right the prestigious French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss, in his statement:

The author of this article has devoted his whole life to the practice of social sciences and humanities. But he is not in any way bothered by having to recognize that between these and the natural sciences could not establish any parity: the latter are the sciences, and the first not. If they are designated anyway with the same term is only by a fiction philosophical semantics and hope that have not yet found confirmation.

However, in regard to political science, we can say that all the traits that characterize the positivist concept of Political Science, one of the most problematic and controversial is undoubtedly of value-neutrality requirement. One feature that, moreover, is typical of the positivist approach in all social sciences. In fact, the recurring controversy of the method in the social sciences Methodenstreit the famous - has its origin in the logical and methodological devastating attack the English empiricist philosopher David Hume (1711-1776) perform the dogmatic and metaphysical thinking of his time.
One of the consequences of their approach is that it leaves standing only two types of scientific knowledge: the analytical and deductive. Whereupon not only relegated to the dustbin of history all pretended knowledge about God, angels or the soul, but all discourse with scientific pretensions of individuals, groups or societies.
We are therefore faced with the unmasking of the "naturalistic fallacy" which consists in the attempt to derive conclusions expressed in evaluative language (the language of value judgments or rules) from premises expressed in a descriptive language (the language of judgments of fact). As noted in this regard Javier Muguerza,

grant that whoever made the trial of "X produces such and such consequences" allows the derivation of value judgments "X is good" or standard "should be X" is engaging in the naturalistic fallacy. It is therefore improper traffic from the logical point of view and methodology, the "descriptive language" to "evaluative language.

However, the most famous modern publicist this methodological demand is certainly Max Weber. For which a science will guarantee the truth and accuracy as to avoid value judgments about its purpose and is limited to explaining their relationships and configurations. Science thus becomes descriptive.
According to Weber, is in effect through such value judgments are filtered in the social sciences undesirable interests, personal or collective prejudices, which distort the results of scientific research by making it degenerate into mere wishful thinking. According to Weber's own definition, the value judgments would be "practical assessments of objectionable character or worthy of approval of the phenomena be influenced by our action."
In this sense, would be judgmental expressions as those which take the form of an "ought" (x must be y) as those whose formulation includes some other evaluative term (x is y, where y is a term value). The scientist must avoid making judgments of this kind to the extent that its only value in the context of the research process is to seek the truth of things. By avoiding the values, ideologies and scientific prevents that same extent extratheoretical avoids the distortions of thought, because as soon as you start to value runs the risk of stating the cause of a phenomenon, not its actual cause, but one that, according to ideology would like it to be. Thus lose sight of the main task of the analyst: understanding the social processes under study. In this sense, Weber continues to share the idea that it is a fallacy to derive or be the result must be an act of a value. The naturalistic fallacy, as it is called since Hume first raised, lives in the social scientific-positivist paradigm.
However, if the claim has some value-neutral basis, must surely be that of the possibility of making something social facts clearly distinguishable from the values. In other words, if fact and value are separable, then value-neutrality can be applied by the social scientist. But if all this is not so, then the difficulties are increased considerably. Well, one of the main obstacles, though certainly not the only, what is the language itself.
Ludwig Wittgenstein is up to the merit of having shown in the course of his own philosophical evolution of the impossibility of positing a sharp distinction between facts and values in the human use of language. Indeed, in language as a set of generalizations and variations seem to break the continuing intention of neutrality, to the extent that only an unequivocal language that would refer to objects in the world can do justice to the claim of neutrality describing the facts of the world . In this task of finding a language "scientific" is shipped Logicus Wittgenstein's Tractatus-Philosophicus (1921), which performs an enormous effort to develop a credible theory about language and scientifically regulated merely denotative, ie exempt references to "metaphysical" and capable of reflecting the world as a painting reflects a landscape.
Wittgenstein's theories about scientific language exerted a huge influence on the Vienna Circle and have been, more or less explicitly, the foundation of positivist thinking. But the theory remains in the Tractatus Wittgenstein part of a highly dubious possibility: that of the coincidence between the universe of language and the empirical universe. Indeed, if language reflects the world is because, as he points out, the limits of both coincide. Needless to say that this statement applies only to scientific language, as the vulgar language by its very nature contains a selection value of certain aspects of reality. This means that in its dynamic relationship with the empirical world, the vulgar language and ordered it cut criteria under highly variable and, ultimately, could coincide with the ideologies and cultures established. However, in the early Wittgenstein's claim is the possibility of building a purely denotative language referring only to the facts of the world and without intervention extraempíricos values or ends. For this reason, in this language of the empirical limits are the limits of language: not only is he the "metaphysics" certainly important, but not scientific. Remains to be seen, despite the foregoing, if the attempt as defined by Wittgenstein, and qualified and supplemented by the various schools of contemporary positivist thinking is, after all, possible.
As highlighted Toulmin, the use of language such as that described in the Tractatus is, first breached by Wittgenstein himself, who is forced to talk about "that of which one can not talk" to build the foundations theoretical scientific language. As Bertrand Russell pointed out himself, prologue of such work, this would be one of the first puzzles that has to deal with any careful reader of the work of the early Wittgenstein.
However, in his philosophical evolution, Wittgenstein himself, in his later work, Philosophical Investigations, written almost thirty years later, in 1945, will finally recognize the impracticality of their previous linguistic philosophical project, namely the impossibility of establishing a language purely scientific, absolutely denotative and rigorous. But it also will eventually recognize the error of their impoverishing initial philosophical approaches.
This trajectory of linguistic philosophy of Wittgenstein is surely the best proof of the impracticability of the positivist attempt a sharp separation between fact and value. But in addition, the separability of the vulgar language of science is not only not feasible, is also not desirable, given that the linguistic universe is a much richer reality than that to reduce the claim that positivist taken to extremes by Wittgenstein.
Moreover, the separation between fact and value arises beyond those already mentioned, other difficulties. By referring only to one, say that such a distinction seems to rely on man's innate ability to see reality and photograph accordingly. But nonetheless, the subject who sees a particular object, it does never in isolation from the implementation of a number of concepts which, as Kuhn would say, belong to the scientific paradigm the observer is being used to unravel the truth. As Kuhn himself says, what a man sees depends both on what they look like what your previous conceptual visual experience has taught him to see.
Is not it therefore acceptable Nietzschean what might be called the dogma of the Immaculate Perception. In fact, it can be argued, is not the "eye" of consciousness that sees the world, but it is the "in-eye" in it. As Heidegger says, there is a primacy of being over consciousness. This means that it is precisely the prior existence of a symbolic field already organized a pre-coded meanings structure, which enables us to articulate our own thoughts and perceptions. Long before Heidegger, Marx had argued in 1859 that "It is the consciousness of men that determines social reality, on the contrary, the social reality that determines their consciousness."

Moreover, the scientific method, however appraisals that maintain, contains within itself a set of values. For example, there is no doubt that choosing this particular method over other (religious interpretation of the world, common sense, etc..) Represents a prior valuation, like the state that the purpose of science is truth, and not manipulation, implies longer an option valuation. But in any case, to recognize that absolute neutrality is impossible and that there are values that influence a priori, not to say that it distorts scientific knowledge.
Weber proposed the concept of relationship value to refer to this process. The relationship of value, Weber said, refers only to the philosophical interpretation of science that specifically interest presiding election and formation of an empirical object. This state of things, inevitable in itself, is, according to Weber, quite different from what occurs with value judgments. The difference is that value judgments are accepted and sometimes outright without immediate consciousness, while the relative values hypothetically accepted and most often conscious of what is done. The scientist must flee the judgmental, but needs the relationship value to begin work on their subject. The assessment is derived from the work object selection does not vitiate or invalidate the results of science. In the matter of the scientific, only decide the empirical. The contrasting with the facts is therefore delimited field criterion corresponding to science, as opposed to the ideology itself. Hence for behaviorism is essential to develop a science policy which, following the model of the natural sciences, leave as much as possible of the "ratings larvae" (Murillo, 1963, 2) exposure of the conclusions reached in the investigation .
For positivism in general, therefore, there is only science where there are no values. Value-neutrality is a requirement as inescapable as the matching. But this brings, as is evident, separated by a clear line of demarcation to the theory of praxis, the politician and scientist, in the sense postulated by Weber, in his work and political science. This concept of neutrality is thus linked to that of rationality. Rationality, as defined by Weber as instrumental, and then as the only valid model for subsequent positive sciences, will be established from the following notes:
1) It is an instrumental rationality in the sense that it refers only to the end, not values.
2) The reason, well understood, will have no other function than to neutrally enable the best means to achieve ends that are foreign, as these can only be set by politicians, not scientists.
and 3) In this way, rationality is reduced to a technical coordination work in the media that the question of the purpose would be meaningless. Keeping silent about what is considered the most desirable is that the scientist can do. (Remember the famous paragraph Wittgenstein: "Whereof one can not speak, you'd better shut up").
However, as theorists have highlighted the Frankfurt School, first Adorno and Horkheimer and Habermas later, this behavior of science leads directly to the irrationality, as it abandons social or political forces without sufficient social control to determine what we should be thinking rationally founded. According to these authors, then, and this concurs with other marxist approaches, there is a large element of irrationality hidden and concealed under the requirement of aseptic valuation, which is characteristic of the positivist paradigm. Habermas believes that any answer to be given to the problem the most appropriate method in the social sciences would be framed in a previous discussion about the possibility of making value judgments and normative structures could be universally shared by an open and public discussion on the objectives desired social development, political and economic.
In this sense, as it is not feasible basis in the historical dynamics historically momentous task of a given subject, as was the case with the working class in classical Marxism, Habermas turns to what he calls ideal community of communication (or dialogue ), within which should elucidate the dilemma of ends and means of social development, and not just the media more positivist. In a community that only the force of better argument would be imposed and therefore it would seek a rational and unforced dialogue, ie the constraints that are absent the economic compulsions, political or cultural-usual on those regulatory structures ( value) that were to be more suitable for everyone. But since this is not the dominant empirical case, Habermas is forced to build the concept of systematically distorted communication to describe communication structures unsound. The Habermasian attempt is reflected in his nomination of a public sphere of open discussion and no limits on all those issues that participants are willing to establish it. The link between theory and practice would be well reflected in the ductility of this area, within which the community involved would decide by rational arguments, both the direction of their social practice, as his knowledge of it. One of the most criticized aspects of the theories of Habermas has been the low weight it attaches to the power structures and particularly to state power, such as structuring of such pressures. The overestimation of the power of reason to overcome the contradictions and social antagonisms has been reproached by the more orthodox Marxist left.
But even within the positivist paradigm occurred Popperian criticism and dissent as Toulmin, Feyerabend, Kuhn, etc.., Who question the once unchallenged preeminence of positivist methodology. According to Kuhn, for example, the facts are not the same as interpreted in either theoretical framework. As established Austin, "the facts are mute. That is, only within a particular scientific paradigm, the facts say something. This means that also for Kuhn, scientific progress does not occur for a patient accumulation of factual knowledge to progressively improve our understanding of reality, but rather through a revolutionary process of sudden and abrupt changes of paradigms, bringing with them new worldviews and new research programs, abandoned since then, the above effect.
May say, in short, from Kuhn's work, and other inputs, such as Habermas, Rorty, Derrida, Skinner and others, the strict prohibition logical and methodological sitting by the fear of incurring the "fallacy naturalist "in relation to securities, a true dogma of the empiricist-positivist tradition and contemporary classical, has been considerably relativized.
Even if only because politics being antagonistic conflict of interests and making decisions for the future, there can be no stranger to political science issues. And therefore, political science who claims that his indifference or impartiality towards the issues of securities and future, is simply stating so philistine conformity with the perpetuation of the existing order. What was required here is the explanation by the social scientist of its theoretical and ideological departure.
Thus, the "naturalistic fallacy" has ceased to be the methodology that was taboo for most of the twentieth century, that is no longer universally shared by all existing theoretical and methodological approaches in the social sciences, currently giving the matter a state of coexistence, more or less peaceful, among the various social scientific paradigms. However, there is a consensus on doctrinal dogmatic about the nature of the term is Hillary Putnam's own fact-value dichotomy.
Indeed, as recently pointed Vargas-Machuca, even for the largest sector of the mainstream Cogent Political Science became clear already in his day as avaloratividad social science and political science simply is an unworkable compromise. Thus, Sheldon Wolin called naive positivist assumption that the claim may be some purely empirical political theory:

The facts are interesting when they appear as bearers of theory, and theory always has a family resemblance with policy guidance because it has the essential characteristic of all building regulations, preserving the qualities of critique and projection capable of responding adequately to the uncertainties of political existence.



I) empirical-analytic:

1) They are positivists (the CP should be built in the image of natural science) and rational (it is only rational in the scientific approach, which excludes the metaphysical).
2) The CP will grow by accumulation of scientific knowledge about society and politics.
3) They are very important objectivity, verifiability and quantification of knowledge, which facilitates treatment cyberspace.
4) You can not mix the facts or data values. Science only deals with how the world is, not how it should be.
5) untying of theory and practice, relegating the use of knowledge to a field postcientífico (politician).

TOP AUTHORS .- since Max Weber and the logical positivism of the Vienna School in 1920, inspired by Karl Popper's critical rationalism and the early Wittgenstein's linguistic philosophy. Positivists and empiricists are Talcott Parsons, David Easton and all those authors who make up the current functionalist, empiricist, and so on., Which constitute the Mainstream Political Science, or mainstream in C. Politics. In this current belongs the vast majority of current political scientists and, of course, the most famous, as Samuel Huntington, Seymour M. Lipset, Francis Fukuyama, etc..

II) CRITICAL-dialectics: Some of the contributions of Marx and subsequent Marxist perspectives, although some neo-Marxist, as Frankfurtian, add elements from other approaches such as Freudian psychoanalysis, hermeneutics (Gadamer) or phenomenology (Husserl) and others, such as practitioners of analytical Marxism incorporate contributions of analytic philosophy. Major theoretical and methodological diversity have called post-Marxist, as ZYGMUND BAUMAN, Manuel Castells, Ulrich Beck, ELTMAR Altvater, etc..

1) Emphasis on history to explain this one must go to the historical evolution of the object of knowledge.
2) To do this, we must start from the concepts of totality and dialectic (Hegel, Marx and Lukacs).
3) The CP can not emancipate itself from its social, so it is inevitable allusion to values.
4) The main interest of this approach is justified social action strategies reformist or revolutionary, from objective analysis of historical structures.

TOP AUTHORS .- Karl Marx, FRIEDICK Engels, Rosa Luxemburg, Karl Kautsky, and others already considered as classics, The Frankfurt School (Theodor W. Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Klaus Offe, Jurgen Habermas, ALFRED Wellman, etc.) The Marburg School (Wolfgang Abendroth, Kurt Lenk, RAINIER KÖLHN, etc..) analytical Marxists, as JOHN ELSTER, Gerald Cohen, Philippe Van Parijs, ERICH WRITGH OLIN, etc.. and other neo-Marxist or marxist authors as ZYGMUND BAUMAN, Manuel Castells, Ulrich Beck, ELTMAR Altvater, etc..

III .- Ontological-POLICY: Some of Aristotle and to a lesser extent, of Plato.
1) postulates the necessity of a return to classic Greek philosophical ontology.
2) reject positivism and the topography are based on Aristotle, which affirms the intimate connection between ethics and politics. Claim and the validity of natural law.
3) They argue that the social sciences are no use natural science methods and propose a CP whose aim is the formulation of value judgments and determine the purpose of the state, for the sake of achieving the good life.
4) must necessarily incorporate the value judgments in their own CP
5) In the unity of theory and practice in the CP

TOP AUTHORS .- Aristotle, Plato, Kant, Leo Strauss, Hannah Arendt, Erich Voegelin, ALASDAIR MCINTYRE, JOHN RALWS and the Freiburg School (Bergstrasse, HENNIS, Obendorfer, etc.)..

(Appendix to Agenda Item O Political Structures)


The essential merit of the political philosophy of John Rawls have known lies in establishing and developing what is undoubtedly the basic problem of political philosophy today: the rational justification of the foundations of political and social coexistence. For in fact , since the seventies there are two big ideas about the limits of reason, that clearly divides the contemporary philosophers and thinkers into two camps, each with their corresponding methodological strategies with regard to the validity of the Enlightenment philosophical project of bourgeois .It is, first, all the current so-called "postmodern", which is contrary to the possible objectification of universalist Enlightenment ideals, and in this sense is clearly "anti-modern." This is somewhat of a philosophy of suspicion "-foreshadowed in the works of Marx, Nietzsche and Freud, held as" death of the subject "as God's death as" death of man "in the crisis of modernity (as reflected in the works of Weber, Adorno and Horkheimer), and as twilight nature becomes clear and apparent in the work of more recent thinkers like Foucault, Lyotard, Derrida, Rorty and Baudrillard and Fukuyama, who develop the thesis as of rationality to the end of meaning, the inconsistency of practice, and the end of history, who see reason as pure domination and address the critique of modern reason from a thought in scattered nomadic "plurality" .
On the other hand, we have the current "neoilustrada" which although suspicious of an emphatic concept of "reason", it therefore proposes that we should cease to claim the universalist ideals of the Enlightenment (Rationality, Freedom, Equality and Fraternity for all) . On the contrary, what is needed is to reformulate them from a vision of reason that, being aware of its limitations, was able to give them a new basis more consistent with our awareness of fallibility. Perhaps, indeed, we are losing our "Cartesian anxiety" (Rorty), but this does not mean, for authors such as Rawls or Habermas, which necessarily have to pay the price of moral skepticism. The problem which then arises is the classic of all moral and political philosophy: what are the limits and the conditions of possibility of a rational justification of political theories and the normative assumptions (ethical-moral) that are based?
To answer this question, A Theory of Justice Rawls (1971), relies on social contract theory. It was Hobbes who first raised the question of the legitimacy and the rational justification of political power in a modern way. Breaking with the vision of sociability and communalism in the human innate characteristic of all the Aristotelian-Thomistic tradition, Hobbes needed to "justify" the existence of some measure of political power. The description of the "state of nature" as a situation of anarchy, war of all against all, do exactly this feature: show when and why it is not only rational but also a certain configuration of legitimate political authority. Well, since then the most debated issue of political power from the perspective of moral and political philosophy, is precisely that of its legitimacy. In his book The Coming of Post-Industrial Society, the liberal-conservative American sociologist Daniel Bell wrote in 1973 that:

"By the nature of human consciousness, the basis for any social order is a model of moral equity, so that there is legitimacy, power must be justified. At the end are the moral ideas-the concept of what is desirable which make up the story through human aspirations. The Western liberal society was "delineated" by Locke, Adam Smith and Bentham on the premise of individual freedom and the satisfaction of private conveniences, these were the axioms whose effects were to met through the market and then through the democratic political system. But this doctrine is crumbling, and the political system is now being fitted to the realization of individual ends is not, but of group or communal needs. Socialism has enjoyed political attraction for a century not so much because of his moral description of how the future society would be, but because the material disparities in disadvantaged classes, the bourgeois society aversion by many intellectuals and the eschatological vision of a "finesse" of history.However, normative ethics was only implied, never specified or justified. The requirement of "equality of result" is part of a socialist ethic (like equal opportunities for liberal ethics), and as a moral basis for society may finally get the obedience of men not by material rewards, but by their philosophical justification.

But then how can you get a philosophical justification of liberal principles alien to their own theoretical tradition? An interesting attempt to address the problem of inequality from an ethical perspective is precisely what standards of justice theory of Rawls, which leads to its logical conclusion the principle of "liberal egalitarianism" through the instrument of the social contract, enriched in analytical treatment with various methodological elements such as rational choice theory or game theory, currently used by the social sciences. As noted in this regard R. Dworkin,

"A Theory of Justice is one of those rare books but essential to philosophy, which define the state of affairs through the description of different theories on the subject in a new way and in light of advances in economic and social sciences, thus providing a new vocabulary to be used without doubt, as criticism of their own arguments. "


Rawls links to legal equality. But consider that justice can not be the greatest good for the greatest number, as claimed by utilitarianism, as the price to pay for these quantities may be unfair to the smaller number. Justice can not be just a problem of quantity in reality it is rather a qualitative problem. The justice then consist of an appropriate distributive principle to judge the various claims at stake and establishing an appropriate division of social advantages. For Rawls this is justice as fairness or impartiality ( "justice as fairness"), and the basis of equity rests initially on two principles that would elect people located in an original position of equality, similar to the natural state of tradition classical social contract.
The basic starting point of Rawls is the absolute priority of justice is the first and principal virtue of social institutions and therefore must prevail over any other values such as stability, efficiency, functionality, coordination or the structural balance.
Another basic idea of his theory is the view of society as a system of cooperation aimed at optimal satisfaction of the interests of all and each of its members. And since the main purpose of his theory is the ordering of life in society, Rawls needs to come to a public conception of justice, that is, a conception which may come to be recognized and shared as mutually acceptable by all members whatever their status or their particular interests.
To arrive, therefore, that universalized public conception of justice Rawls has to face the question of the entire classical tradition of social contract: how to reach unanimous agreement on those principles able to organize and resolve conflicts of interest society? To answer this question, Rawls elaborates his particular method called "Kantian constructivism" that is to specify a particular conception of the person and try to derive from it the principles of justice through a process of "construction". The mediating element between this conception of the person and principles of justice is the "original position" or initial position of equality and freedom, which corresponds roughly with the state of nature of classical political contractualism (Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, etc.). and that is where they will choose the principles that regulate the conception of justice which Rawls calls "a well-ordered society."
What is that conception of the person you share Rawls?

"This conception," writes Rawls sees people as both free and equal, capable of acting as both reasonable and rational and therefore as able to take part in social cooperation among people and considered. "

The contrast between what is reasonable and rational somehow relates to ideas of right and good. By rational means that action to the satisfaction of desires or interests or purposes of an agent, which in Weber's terminology would be to instrumental rationality. On the contrary, by reasonable means the recognition of the exercise of their own purposes, but taking into account also the morally justified ends of others, the concept thus includes considerations about moral purposes assumes that the agent is ready to govern their actions by a principle of equity from which he and others can reason in common.
This ability to act rationally and reasonably is a manifestation of the moral character of individuals and entities free and equal and corresponds to their basic capabilities: to possess an effective sense of justice and the ability to form, revise and pursue a particular conception of what good. The personality is characterized by "unity" or balance between these two fundamental aspects: it requires and presupposes reasonable but also subordinate to the rational. The reasonable thing would be the legislative aspect of personality, while the rational equivalent to the executive. To put it in Freudian terms, correspond to the rational ego and the superego reasonable. Under this priority of right over good, these two powers of personality will "build" the principles of justice: the reasonable operating as the framework that sets the original position and the rational as the main motivation present at the time of choose principles of justice.
These principles of justice are chosen for a well-ordered society, that is, for a society that has certain characteristics "ideal", whose main features are derived from the necessary expansion of the concept of moral personality to the social framework. Hence, both concepts (that of "moral person" and the "well-ordered society") are intimately linked and together define the constraints operating in the original position.
As Rawls himself writes,

"The two basic conceptual models of justice as fairness are the" well-ordered society "and the" moral person ".

The overall purpose of these basic concepts is to select the essential aspects of our conception of ourselves as moral people and our relationship with society as free and equal citizens. Such concepts are certain general aspects on how to be a society if its members publicly see themselves and their social ties in a certain way. But there is a third "conceptual model", the so called "original position" which plays a mediating role between the above two basic concepts-the moral person and the well-ordered society, and the principles of justice, that the incorporated into the basic structure of society, eventually chairing the relations between the citizens in the well-ordered society. So the logical and methodological role that Rawls assigns to the original position is to shape the way in which citizens of a well-ordered society impartially choose the principles of justice for their society. The concept of "basic structure of society" means 1) the way in which major social institutions are integrated into a system, 2) distribute fundamental rights and duties between citizens and 3) shape the distribution of benefits from of social cooperation.These major social institutions would, according to Rawls, the political constitution and the main elements of economic and social system, that condition any further organization of social life. Would become, then, something like the socio-economic infrastructure and political society.
Let us now see what the call "original position". The "parties" in the contract are free and equal individuals, motivated by selfish self-interest of each individual, but recognizes their rights and mutual interests. However, these rational beings are subject to certain limitations in their knowledge and motivations, which Rawls calls the veil of ignorance, denomination which emphasizes the fact that justice is blind, why is depicted with a blindfold. Through this "veil of ignorance ', Rawls creates a situation of individual rational choice social (individual rational social choice situation), which will take a unanimous decision on a particular conception of justice, which can be valid imprisonment.
Thus, although the parties know the circumstances of justice, the general facts about society (political issues and the principles of economic theory), the basic psychological rules that affect humans, in short, everything needed to be at position to take a unanimous decision in order to establish principles of justice with life force, known instead a series of facts: do not know his place in society once they are born, what their race or their class position or status, nor his fortune in the distribution of skills and talents, nor his intelligence, strength, and so on. Nor know their conception of the good, nor their individual plans of life, not the specifics of their psychology (eg, risk aversion or not, optimism or pessimism, etc.). Also know the particular circumstances of the society or the country that will be living (its geographical location, economic or political, level of civilization or culture) and the generation they belong (the subject of justice between generations). In short, the "parties" are obliged to evaluate principles of justice based only on general considerations and rudimentary.
In short, the parties to the "original position" will have to choose, despite the veil of ignorance, or rather precisely because of this veil of ignorance, among a number of alternatives that represent different conceptions of justice, and among these must select only one unanimously, by a process of rational choice that follows the classic model of game theory.
But how can the parties to take a decision, given the significant constraints imposed by the veil of ignorance? How can they choose what suits them? Do not forget that, despite these restrictions, each is seeking its own interest. To address this difficulty, Rawls designs his theory of primary goods, which are all goods that are demanded presumably more for excessive zeal, and that because of their instrumentality to satisfy the achievement of individual goals or basic projects of each, that is, the "life plans" that give meaning to existence in society. These commodities would be the rights and freedoms, opportunities and powers, income and wealth, and self-respect and self-esteem.
Thus, each of the parties will act rationally by choosing the largest and most effective means to carry out their life plans, but that is precisely what reveals the social character of individual rationality, emphasizing the interdependence between different actors . And so we entered and in the rational choice theory, which is the tool that Rawls uses to give life to its principles of justice.
According to Rawls, the participants in the original position found in a typical course of decisions under uncertainty, which favors (or, rather, requires) the adoption of the rule "Maximim" maximizing the minimum, or, if you will, minimization of injury from being in the worst situation, which necessarily translates into a preference for a distribution of primary goods, in fact, take as a reference the interest of the less advantaged (in fear by of "contractors" to end found themselves in this group).
Thus, the parties are forced to opt for a general principle of "conservative", of equal distribution, unless it is clear that the most disadvantaged can gain if they favor some exceptions to this general rule. In this sense, Rawls considers incompatible with his premises any possibility of bargaining with goods such as freedom or equality of opportunity, considering them essential to the realization of the basic interests of personality. Another issue is the income or wealth, for which it accepts an inegalitarian distribution rule only if this would benefit the least advantaged. It is assumed that the stimulus of higher income not only increase production without harming anyone, but ultimately everyone benefits. Rawls calls this the principle of difference.
The result of this rational decision so taken by the parties to the original position under the veil of ignorance, are called principles of justice, which are formulated as follows:

I. "First principle: each person should have equal rights to the most extensive total system of equal basic liberties compatible with a similar system of liberty for all.
II. Second principle: Social and economic inequalities should be arranged so that both are:
a) Addressed to the greater benefit of the least advantaged, consistent with the principle of just savings, and
b) Linked also to offices and positions open to all under conditions of fair equality of opportunity. "

Finally, I must say that these principles are linked to some priority rules. The first has priority over the second and the second part of the second principle, namely, equal opportunities, primarily in the first. This Rawls called "lexicographic order" means that

"No principle can intervene unless previously placed have been met or will be applicable."

That is, until they get the appropriate level in one of the principles, the following will not come into play. This prioritization between different primary goods becomes evident. And so it is not giving up any of the basic freedoms as much as it could make from the standpoint of socio-economic development.
The first principle of justice is the equal freedoms of citizens: freedom of expression, choice, association and assembly, and eligibility for office, etc.. The second deals with social and economic inequality: the distribution of income and wealth, differences in the degree of authority, and the like. The second principle is that interests us. The regular term of the sentences are ambiguous expressions "for the benefit of everyone" and "equally open to all." What do they mean?
Rawls's argument is complex but lucid, "equally open" might mean the same in the sense that the races are open to talented people, as equals in the sense of "equality of fair opportunity." The first interpretation simply states that those who possess the ability and genius are entitled to the place they have achieved. This is the conventional liberal posture. But Rawls notes that ignores social contingencies distortion:

"In all sectors of society," he writes should be roughly equal prospects of culture and achievement for all motivated and gifted individuals similarly ... The opportunities to acquire cultural knowledge and skills should not depend on the position of each class, so the education system, whether public or private, should be designed to level class barriers. "

The liberal principle accepts the elimination of social differences in order to ensure an equal starting point, but the result justifies unequal on the basis of skills and natural talents. For Rawls, however, the benefits "natural" are so arbitrary as social or casual. Specifically states that are the result of what he calls graphically the genetic lottery. And, therefore, not a "fair chance". Verbatim writes about it,

"There is no reason to allow the distribution of income and wealth are determined according to the genetic lottery, by which we obtain the natural abilities, to trust that this distribution to pure chance ... This is because the level in which natural capacities develop and reach its fruits are powerfully influenced by social conditions and class attitudes of all kinds. Until the will to make an effort, to strive and achieve merit in the ordinary sense, depends on the family fortune and social circumstances. In practice it is impossible to ensure equal opportunity for achievement and culture for individuals similarly gifted, and therefore wish adptar first to recognize this fact and also mitigates the arbitrary results of the natural lottery. "

Rawls's conclusion therefore is that since they can not provide equal opportunities, there is no more to lean toward another end: equality of outcome. It literally says:

"Nobody has done more to reach its merits natural ability or to merit a more favorable starting position in society. But it does show that these distinctions need to be eliminated. There is another way of treating them. You can have the basic structure society so that these contingencies will benefit the less fortunate. Therefore we are led to the difference principle if we wish to establish a social system so that no one wins or loses by his arbitrary place in the distribution of natural abilities or by its initial position in society without giving or receiving compensating advantages to both. "

The question then passes the words "equally open to all", ie the distribution of opportunities to achieve a place, the distribution of primary goods or values, that is, which means "for the benefit of all." This last expression may be determined in terms of Rawls' principle of effectiveness "as the" difference principle ". The principle of efficiency is consistent with what welfare economics (Welfare Economics) called "Pareto optimality", which is to establish that the allocation of assets and profits is effective when it reaches the point where it becomes impossible to change the existing distribution model without improving the condition of some people (even one) does not worsen while the condition of some other (at least).
As utilitarian principle "Pareto optimality" is only interested in an abstract set of choices and is indifferent with respect to real negotiations. So Ralws difficulty in appreciating the principle of effectiveness is that, in relation to equity, can not specify who will be better or no worse.
The "difference principle" means that if some people get better, we must also improve the disadvantaged and in some circumstances further. If you win, so must the other. Ralws says verbatim:

"What we can guess at this point is that social order does not have to establish and secure the most attractive prospects of the advantaged, unless doing so will benefit the less fortunate."

For this reason also Ralws rejected the idea of meritocracy, for although the idea is democratic, meritocratic, violates the concept of equity:

"The social order [meritocratic] follows the principle of careers open to talents and uses equal opportunities as a means of releasing human energies to the achievement of economic prosperity and political domination. There is a notable disparity between the upper classes and the lower classes in both livelihoods and the rights and privileges of organizational authority. The culture of the underprivileged is impoverished, while the ruling elite and technocratic is probably based on service of national goals of power and wealth. Equal opportunity means equal opportunity to leave behind the less fortunate in the personal struggle for influence and social position. Therefore, a meritocratic society is a danger to other interpretations of the principles of justice but not to the democratic concept. For as we have just seen, the difference principle transforms the goals of society in some fundamental ways. "

The difference principle has two implications for social policy. One is the principle of compensation for individuals:

"This principle is Rawls writes that undeserved inequalities require repair, and since inequalities of birth and natural endowment are undeserved, should be compensated somehow. This principle maintains that in order to treat all persons equally and provide genuine equality of opportunity, the company must pay more attention to those who have less natural abilities and those born in less favorable social position. The idea is to fix the bias of contingencies in the direction of equality. Pursuing this principle, they could spend more resources in the education of the less intelligent, rather than that of the most intelligent, at least during one stage of life, ie in the early years of school. "

The second is the more general principle that individual talent must be considered a social asset, and its fruits should be available to all, especially the less fortunate:

"[The principle of difference] transforms the end of the basic structure of society, so that the total scheme of institutions and does not emphasize social efficiency and technocratic values. You can see then that the principle of difference is actually an agreement to consider the distribution of natural talents as a common capital and distribute this distribution produces few benefits. Those who have been favored by nature, whoever they are, may gain from their good fortune only in those ways that improve the situation of those who have lost. "

This is a basic rational explanation for a substantial variation in social values instead of the meritocratic principle "from each according to his ability, to each according his ability," equality, we have the principle formulated by Marx in his Critique of Program Gotha, "from each according to ability, to each according to his needs." And the justification is, according to Rawls, equity with those in a situation of disadvantage for reasons beyond their control.
As noted earlier, Rawls attaches greater importance to the first principle of justice and therefore can never give up any of the freedoms that this could offset much from the point of view of achieving greater economic equality .This Rawls brings satisfaction to its own intellectual tradition, the liberal, that put freedom to equality and economic welfare, but introduces important considerations to allow freedom to be truly effective for the entire population. If you declare an equal right to every person to freely be able to deploy their own life plan, it will be necessary to establish the basic conditions necessary for this to be feasible. A progressive interpretation or "radical" Rawls accentuate this fact as an argument for equal maximum possible. Rawls is well aware that the causes of inequality due to social, political and economic infrastructure relationships and not just formal declarations of equality. In this sense, it goes much further than other authors of the liberal tradition, as John Stuart Mill, when called for structural changes necessary to achieve the development of the oppressed classes. The causes of inequality obey for Rawls to causes such as working conditions or unemployment particularly disparaging, preventing the political participation of lower classes, the very nature of capitalist commercial culture, which prevents the assessment of non-physical values part of the middle classes, the lack of a proportional vote, which stops outside the system can identify their own interests and understanding policy issues, and so on.


This propensity egalitarianism of Rawls will be criticized by various authors from his own liberal ideological tradition, but especially by the right-wing liberals, so-called "neoconservatives" as Daniel Bell, Irving Kristol, and others. Specifically Bell argues that Rawls' represents the most comprehensive modern political philosophy to justify a socialist ethic.

And analyzes the leap from classical liberalism in the Rawlsian philosophy as follows: "The liberal theory of society was framed by the twin axes of individualism and rationality. The individual unfettered try to get their own satisfaction on the basis of their work and receive rewards for their effort, courage and risk, and each calculate the exchange of goods with others to maximize their own satisfactions. A society not for him to make judgments among men-only-set rules of procedure and the most effective distribution of resources was one that produced the greatest net balance of satisfactions. Today, classical liberalism has come to an end. It's not individual satisfaction measure of social good, but compensation for the disadvantaged as a first claim on social consciousness and social policy. "

The demand of "group rights" would therefore be in formal contradiction with the principle of liberal individualism and its emphasis on the achievement and universalism would subject the individual to the common dictates of the group.
A furious receive much criticism of what Rawls might call "libertarianism" (Libertarianism) U.S. real anarcho-capitalism, as the teacher called Vallespín, represented primarily in its philosophical dimension to his work Robert Nozick Anarchy, State and Utopia (1973). This author also part of a contractual approach, while more in line with Locke attacks the philosophical basis on which to base Rawls is distributive justice. Nozick seeks the foundation of his thought from the moral inviolability of persons, must extend to all dimensions of personality and prevail over any other social pattern. There is, of course, contrary to an understanding of society as a cooperative system, but, yes, keeping everyone in the limits of their individuality and always getting their respective contributions to the product well done.

"People co-writes to do things, but working separately, each person is a company in miniature."

Any person to cooperate "help" in a well defined proportion of total output and is perfectly "entitled" to their share of contribution. Why talk of distributive justice then? Why is this necessary connection between distributive justice and cooperation system? Is it not possible to unravel, define the respective contribution each person brings? Nozick would only be rational for applying a distributive principle if the total social product was so "entangled" (entangled) it is impracticable to determine the marginal contributions of each individual. Only in this case could have an equal distribution sense, for example. However, this is not so: these contributions can be determined without difficulty in a free market, so there is no reason not to find any suitable distribution resulting from voluntary exchange in the market. Following the same line, the next step he takes is to "denounce" the harm to the advantaged-they are, says Nozick, who actually make the cake grow supposed to have to make a contribution to who are less gifted can attain a decent minimum, a "bottom line". Of course, the disadvantaged would have good reason to accept this principle, but not the more or better equipped. Consequently, there arises, says Nozick, an "asymmetry" in the gains for each group of social partnership, as a result of which, those who benefit most from social cooperation out more favored.
One of the basic moral intuitions or judgments of Rawls, Nozick considers most worthy of attention is the one under which the distribution of skills or natural abilities is arbitrary from the moral point of view (the genetic lottery) and, accordingly, no allowance social legitimately may be based on it. After a series of tortuous reasoning to criticize Rawls's thesis that "the distributional effects of natural differences should be canceled," Nozick concludes that differences between people need not be morally legitimate, but are simply there; or the fact that people do not deserve their talents are not necessarily infer why differences in possessions should not be based on distinctions between ability or merit. His "negative argument" puts it as follows:

"People, whether or not arbitrary natural capacity from a moral standpoint, they have a fair degree (are entitled) to them and what emanates from them. (P.226)

But Rawls also receive criticism from the radical left or Marxist. For Macpherson, for example, Rawls would be in the line of revisionist liberalism that extends or expands the implications of liberal theory to justify "a capitalist welfare state, liberal and democratic." But Macpherson criticism focuses especially on the specifically 'capitalist' Rawlsian theoretical effort.

"His [Rawls] explicit assumption is that institutionalized inequalities that affect people's lives are" inevitable in any society, and he is referring to social class inequalities in income and wealth ... "

According to Macpherson, Rawls, his difference principle, would be encouraging the possibility of structuring society in different strata, but not only in economic terms, but, by the very nature of capitalist society, also of power. In this they would differ existing inequalities in a capitalist society and a socialist.At this inequality would be "qualitatively" different in the absence of mediation between capital and labor, to break the power relations linked to the property. Another point of criticism of Macpherson, which agrees with the critique of Rawls Richard Miller, is in opposition to the inevitability that the Harvard professor sees about the need to manage social conflict through an interventionist state level socio-economic development. For both believe in the Marxist tradition of post-revolutionary transformation of the state organ of domination of men in administrative organ of things that once would have passed the basic contradictions resulting from the restructuring of relations of production carried out by the revolution, the State could well do without that dimension of Rawls assigned as necessary. This criticism is part of the classical tradition of Marxist political theory of the nineteenth century. The historical reality, however, has denied time and again that the practical feasibility of the Marxist state theory. Not to mention the historical experience of social democracy in which invariably keeps the capitalist economic system, though constrained in its effects certainly more socially inegalitarian, and just testing the so-called real socialism, one must conclude that in or there was this alleged transformation of the state organ of domination of men to board of things, as naively postulated Marx nor significantly decreased social inequalities. Thus, as observed Barrington Moore Jr.,

"(...) The system of inequality of actually existing socialism has turned out to be very different to that given in liberal capitalism. At the top of the system is a tiny elite whose official position gives them access to most of the material goods of this life (...). At the bottom of the social pyramid are large numbers of people who are forced to live below subsistence level. Between these two extremes are many gradations, from the staff that can take a very pleasant life to the farmer who manages to get by with a basis to make extraordinary hard work. So the range of inequalities is essentially the same in socialism and liberal capitalism. "

Rawls would agree on this point with Dahrendorf who notes that

"Revolutions beget its own alienation before they have completed their course is difficult to disentangle means and ends. The more difficult the course is intended to create, that is, equality, the more remote is the purpose for which it was created, namely, freedom. "

In his major work on American neocontractualism entitled New Theories of Social Contract: Rawls, Nozick, Buchanan, Professor Vallespín reached the following conclusions on the Theory of Justice by John Rawls:

1st) Rawls clearly favors the existence of a capitalist market system. But this does not exclude the socialization of many economic sectors vital public services. However, the existence of a competitive economy seems to be required by the same principle of difference and it's hard to imagine a competitive economy without private ownership of the means of production, at least in certain sectors. In any case, the State could take an active role in the control of market rationality and social mitigation more inegalitarian. Perhaps because Rawls is aware that as noted by Samuelson, "although it may be true that the state has no head, no less true that the market has no heart."

2nd) Rawls provides an implicit hypothesis whereby once adjusted the institutional system needed by its principles of justice, social inequalities will gradually disappear. The text says:

"The principle of difference (...) is based on the idea that in a competitive economy (with or without private property) with an open class system, social inequalities are not the rule.
Given the distribution of natural powers and the laws of motivation, major differences will not last long. "

Therefore it seems that Rawls believes that once the ideal of community development is adequately reflected in the basic structure of society, this will lead eventually to a society of broad social mobility is a significant reduction in inequality.

3rd) As a result of the foregoing, it should lead to a change in the motivation of people living in the more egalitarian society, breaking through the possibility provided by the moral psychology of Piaget, Kohlberg and others to realize the myth of self-identity human, according to which would merge the individual interest and community, settling cooperative relations, the progress of morality, etc ...
Faced with this somewhat idyllic view, authors like Macpherson are precisely the difference principle "authorization" to continue reproducing inequality, because in a society in which there are different social classes, the relations of exploitation are inevitable. Apart from that, from a logical point of view, the persistence of inequality is strictly necessary in order to apply the principle of difference. But Rawls's theory, as we saw, the natural capacity "belong" to the community and should be directed to the Community interest, in addition to self-interest. But what if the two interests do not coincide? Rawls's theory, although it is idealistic in the sense of what he calls the "Kantian constructivism" - can not completely avoid the reference to non-ideal situations, but real. And that the USA intends to incorporate the weakest in the formulation of the method by reflective equilibrium that is present in the stages of implementation of his theory of the principles of justice.

4th) Throughout this whole process, the limits to inequality are well established by concepts like "self", "real equality of political rights", etc.. And those concepts are not ahistorical, but applicable to specific empirical subjects.

5th) The key to the whole Rawlsian gear through the strengthening of the factual liberties in an exchange of views, organization of parties, etc.. which operates entirely transparent. Without a framework of the public from which continuously rethink the policy guidelines, subjecting them to continually test intersubjectivity, we could not do justice to a theory founded on the dialogic rationality precisely. In any case, concludes the prof. Vallespín, Rawls would agree with the statement of Horkheimer:

"Socialism does not consume the realization that the individual, as its founders expected it becomes authoritarian barbarism. On the other hand, individualism become incapable of social justice, is in danger of falling into the totalitarian. The unit of freedom and justice in the core of the Kantian philosophy. "

Well, even scarier than their politico-religious ideas turn out to be his connections with the upper echelons of power. His two most immediate disciples, author Allan Bloom as reactionary as intelligent bestseller The Closing of the American Mind, and the leftist renegade Irving Kristol, extroskista, influential editor of the Wall Street Journal, who loved the movie Rambo, became in the real godfathers of American neoconservative movement.Among his followers are Gary Schmitt, director of the influential think-tank Project for the New American Century (PNAC), Richard Perle, head of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and member of the first Bush Administration until he resigned for having personally enriched with concessions Iraq government: former Attorney General John Ashcroftel White House adviser on issues of bio-ethics, a leading analyst of the CIA and herald the End of History, Francis Fukuyama, and finally, former Secretary of Defense and former Governor of the World Bank, Paul Wolfowitz and now famous throughout the world since the Saudi television broadcast throughout the world the image of tomatoes in his socks when he had to remove their shoes to enter a mosque. What is not prevented him from obtaining a new political destiny golden, as World Bank president. Much of American politics in recent decades can be explained, as I have noted elsewhere, depending on the powerful influence of the political philosophy of Leo Strauss, and the guidelines articulated by its many supporters and followers, who expected to remain in largely present in the circles of political and cultural power in the U.S., beyond the disastrous Bush era. Hanna Arendt, meanwhile, said that was not the man, but men who inhabited the land. He gave this indication necessarily plural configuration to policy issues and also opened an avenue for reflection, whose fulcrum was the same argument that achieving a consensus on good or desirable. Guided through the Greek concept of praxis (as virtuous activity) and polis (as orderly and fair community that enables the virtuous life), political science and normative ontological H. Arendt begins reflecting on the socio-political questions facing the possibility of implementing such good order. Remote in this sense of positivism, is about him but considering that reflection tied to abstract categories and static, which accepts the positivist separation between theory and political practice.
The same H. Arendt in her book The Spirit's life reminds us that the answer to the question on how to attain wisdom gave the oracle at Delphi: "Adopt the pallor of the dead." That is, leave the world if you understand it, stay away from the political implications and practices leads to the theoretical strength of your reason as far as she is able to take. Dismissing as utopian all attempts to think differently than men and are given in the reality of a society divided into oppositions, conflicts and struggles somehow normativist approach is petrified at what exists and, despite everything that drives him in the direction of a new configuration of politics, is ultimately tied to what is given as a single criterion of social differentiation. Being well in every existence socially contingent, while historical is thus enthroned in categories that nonetheless sought to transcend, at least through the power of reflection. What remains to be seen is whether, after all, the reflective power of the human spirit is strong enough, when it refrains from a dialectical and critical consideration, creatively transcending the existence of such domination and division to which men are doomed in his social life.
In any case, the claim of autonomy in political science, subject to a proprietary method different from that of natural science, and the integration of axiological criteria, will be the cornerstones on which to build this methodological approach. But these theories, except for its contributions to the history of political ideas in many truly exceptional cases, have failed until the seventies contribute much to the explanation of social reality, often merely a willingness to promote subjective lacking orientation, and, as some authors have criticized him, tending to the given state, to draw their last teleological elements of existing values and goals.
However, the regulatory approach will find a new momentum in the early seventies, being perhaps the turning point for this revitalization the emergence in 1971 of the important work A Theory of Justice by John Rawls, which opens, albeit from a tradition and a completely different assumptions, a new reflection on the rationality of ends soon worn in Political Science. The recent introduction of a separate section of normative theory in the literature review section of the American Political Science Review is very expressive of this state of affairs.
However, this regulatory approach lacks some of the methodological features that defined the traditional normative ontological theories just discussed. Since Rawls, in fact, tends to return to Kant and a certain kind of rational dialogue, a point that will coincide authors from different theoretical traditions such as Habermas, from Marxism, Apel, from hermeneutics and Rawls, from analytic philosophy and Kantian constructivism. We shall come at some length the political thought of Rawls, as one of the philosophical and political legacies of the twentieth century's most important and most influential contemporary rethinking of political liberalism.

Entradas relacionadas: