The Importance of Ideals: Debating Their Relevance in Law, Morality, and Politics
Introduction: The Three Main Theses
In the fairly recent past, in the last decade of the cold war era, reference to ideals evoked images of the stale ideologies of socialism and communism and the failed utopianism that accompanied them. Ideals did not have either theoretical or practical appeal. In some areas of normative theory, however, the first strands of a reviving interest were already forming. In ethical theory, Bernard Gert reasserted the category of moral ideals as the main category apart from moral rules. In legal theory, Ronald Dworkin started to include the ideal of integrity next to principles. The attention for ideals has grown since, but, with some exceptions, a systematic treatment of the role of ideals in law, morality, or politics has been lacking. Ideals are posited without questioning the concept; they are lumped together with virtues and purposes without recognition of their distinctive role.
van der Burg, W, & Taekema, H.S. (2004). The Importance of Ideals: Debating Their Relevance in Law, Morality, and Politics. In W. van der Burg & H.S. Taekema (eds.), The Importance of Ideals: Debating Their Relevance in Law, Morality, and Politics, Bruxelles, etc.: Peter Lang (pp. 11–38). Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/77410