Political Morality

  • Dorothy Emmet


That politics is ‘beyond good and evil’, or (less rhetorically) a sphere in which moral considerations are not applicable, is a notion with a long history. That politics may in fact be pursued amorally is not in question, but a stronger claim is sometimes made: that (sermonising apart) it is of the nature of politics that it should be so, or (if we do not want to talk about ‘nature’) that its distinctive purposes can only be so achieved.


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  1. 3.
    Cf. F. Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth (Penguin Books, 1967), esp. p. 74. Sorel also talks like this in Réflexions sur la violence. Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Dorothy Emmet 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dorothy Emmet
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.University of ManchesterUK
  2. 2.Lucy Cavendish CollegeCambridgeUK
  3. 3.Lady Margaret HallOxfordUK

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