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Durham e-Theses
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On the nature of ideological argument

Graham, Gordon (1975) On the nature of ideological argument. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



The thesis is concerned with the logic of the language of political ideologies and their relation to political and moral conduct. First, the view that ideology is the determination of the ends of political and moral conduct, and the rational consideration of the various 'philosophies' which thinkers have devised, is considered and, after some analysis rejected. This leads to a consideration of a general scepticism concerning ideology, namely that ideology is an essentially spurious form of reasoning and understanding. The notions of ‘rationalisation’,' false-consciousness’ and ' abstraction’ are those given particular scrutiny. As a result, the sceptical view of ideology is rejected. In the Second part, a parallel, often suggested, between ideology and religion is explored. It is argued that ideological and religious understanding is essentially subjective, in a carefully specified sense of the term, and that both are views of the world sub specie aeternitatis. These two features entail their being under-standings categorically distinct from theoretical understanding like history or science. But religions and ideologies are not the same and the distinction between the two is drawn in the context of an examination of the notions of eternity and temporality. The parallel is continued, however, in a comparison of the logic of ideological and theological reflection, where it is argued that a corpus of authoritative literature may allow concrete and reasoned reflection. Part Three of the thesis is concerned with the place of ideological reflection in conduct. It is claimed that ideological literature way sustains the vocabulary of an ethical tradition and thereby preserve political identity.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1975
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Sep 2013 15:37

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