Giving Up on the Best

Giving Up on the Best

Giving Up on the Best: Political Theory and Incommensurable Values, provides new insights on the most pressing debates in contemporary political philosophy, drawn from a new account of value pluralism as a fundamentally ethical position. As the title indicates, taking value pluralism seriously requires us to give up on ideal political theory, understood as the project of specifying or analyzing some ideal political order as a guide to our current deliberations. Instead, I argue, different political systems will realize distinct values, and choosing between them cannot be a matter of specifying some ideal and assessing their conformity to it. Rather, our choice between different modes of social organization must depend upon a host of contextual, historical, and material circumstances. Taking value pluralism seriously as first and foremost an ethical commitment systematically transforms and informs contemporary political philosophy.