Ideals are important in social reality, but they have been neglected in theories of law, politics, and morality. This book has the role of ideals as its central theme. More specifically, it argues that ideals are necessary to understand pluralism, that they are key elements in controversy and debate, and that they enable development. It combines theoretical analysis of the concept of ideals with discussion of concrete debates and cases, including philosophical debates about politics and equality, sociological studies of the diverse interpretations of the rule of law, and accounts of the development of environmental law and privacy law. Thus, the functioning of ideals is critically examined, showing the merits and limitations of an ideal-oriented approach.
Bruxelles, Bern, Berlin, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2004. 274 pp.
Contents: Wibren van der Burg/Sanne Taekema: The Importance of Ideals: Debating Their Relevance in Law, Morality, and Politics
– Sanne Taekema: What Ideals Are: Ontological and Epistemological Issues – Wouter de Been: Pragmatism and Ideal-Oriented Socio-Legal
Study – Marc Hertogh: The Living Rechtsstaat: A Bottom-Up Approach to Legal Ideals and Social Reality – Caroline Raat:
Stories and Ideals – Willem J. Witteveen: Realist Idealism and the Rule of Law – Bert van den Brink: Ideals of Doing Political
Philosophy: From the Perspective of Eternity to Hermeneutical Perspectivism – Roland Pierik: The Ideal of Equality in Political
Philosophy – Wibren van der Burg: An Interactionist View on the Relation between Law and Morality – Peter Blok: The Ideal
of Data Privacy and the Development of Law – Jonathan Verschuuren/Timon Oudenaarden: The Role of Ideals in Legal Development:
Sustainable Development and the Conservation of Biological Diversity as Cases in Point.