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Provisional PoliticsKantian Arguments in Policy Context$
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Elisabeth Ellis

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780300125221

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300125221.001.0001

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Introduction to Provisional Theory

Introduction to Provisional Theory

(p.1) 1 Introduction to Provisional Theory
Provisional Politics

Elisabeth Ellis

Yale University Press

This chapter introduces the concept of provisional theory and how it is able to provide an avenue for us to speak of ourselves accurately across multiple dimensions: as members of groups, as individuals, as predictable with regards to reductive statistics, and as exercising free choice. The chapter introduces the problem of the gap between our professed principles and the practical actions we take despite them. It talks about the inadequacy of both idealism and realism in portraying an accurate picture of political life and suggests the use of provisional reasoning rather than conclusive reasoning. It looks at the writings of Immanuel Kant in order to gain insights into the human political condition, and the conditions of justice. Other works are also compared and viewed, distinguishing what insights contribute to the concept of provisional theory.

Keywords:   provisional theory, free choice, idealism, realism, Immanuel Kant, provisional reasoning, conclusive reasoning, conditions of justice, human political condition

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