Theory, Ideal Theory and the Theory of Ideals



The recent prominence of the ideal/non-ideal debate is largely due to the fact that it offers a vocabulary in which to diagnose what many see as a key problem of political theory: its relative unwillingness to provide solutions to urgent problems facing people here and now; or for people as they are rather than as they should be. The primary aim of this article is to offer an improved understanding of the territory that the ideal/non-ideal debate relates to.