What do we mean when we say that someone is "ideological"? How does having an ideology differ from simply having a particular set of moral or political views?
'Ideology' is used in a number of difference senses. However, whether within political philosophy, or philosophical sociology, 'ideology' is distinguished from having views, by the extent to which we recognise the possibility of other views. So, suppose I think abortion is immoral. Now, what do I think of someone whose moral views permit abortion? Either, I could believe them to be mad, deceived or perverse. In any case, they are wrong and that's the end of it. Or, although I doubt it strongly, I could think that they might have a point -- that is, it is not in principle impossible that their view is has some merit. In other words, a convenient definition of 'ideology' is that it is a view that excludes the possibility of rational discussion or debate. Ideology may also tend to be 'unconscious', so much a part of one's world view that it isn't even noticed. Indeed, because it is not available for enquiry, there is no need for me to be aware of ideology.
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