The Principle of Right: Practical Reason and Justification in Kant's Ethical and Political Philosophy

Journal of International Political Theory 3:24-36 (2007)
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Abstract

The principle of right is Kant's main formulation of the rules of politics, and it has obvious affinities with the moral law. Do we have moral reasons to obey the principle? I argue that we may have moral reasons to obey the principle ourselves, but not coercively to enforce it. Do we have prudential reasons to obey the principle? I argue that we do not have reasons based on happiness, but that we may have prudential reasons of a wholly different, but distinctively Kantian kind. These may be reasons both to obey the principle ourselves and to enforce it.

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Alison Hills
Oxford University

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