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Indirect Instrumentalism about Political Legitimacy

  • Matthias Brinkmann EMAIL logo


Political instrumentalism claims that the right to rule should be distributed such that justice is promoted best. Building on a distinction made by consequentialists in moral philosophy, I argue that instrumentalists should distinguish two levels of normative thinking about legitimacy, the critical and applied level. An indirect instrumentalism which acknowledges this distinction has significant advantages over simpler forms of instrumentalism that do not.


This paper grew out of my dissertation, for which I am indebted to my supervisors, Ralf Bader, Leslie Green, and Jeremy Waldron, as well as my examiners, David Miller and Laura Valentini.


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Published Online: 2018-10-27
Published in Print: 2019-05-27

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