peace studies journal 6 (2):58-67 (2013)

Chad Kautzer
Lehigh University
There has been a persistent misunderstanding of the nature of cosmopolitanism in Immanuel Kant’s 1795 essay “Perpetual Peace,” viewing it as a qualitative break from the bellicose natural law tradition preceding it. This misunderstanding is in part due to Kant’s explicitly critical comments about colonialism as well as his attempt to rhetorically distance his cosmopolitanism from traditional natural law theory. In this paper, I argue that the necessary foundation for Kant’s cosmopolitan subjectivity and right was forged in the experience of European colonialism and the (pre-Kantian) theory it engendered. It is in this context that we witness the universalization of subjectivity and the subjectivization of right, emerging from the justificatory needs of extra-national jurisdiction and resource appropriation. This form of cosmopolitanism, whose emergence necessarily tracks the rise of global capitalism, continues to exert great and often uncritical influence on theories and practices of peace today.
Keywords Kant  Colonialism  Subjectivity
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Sources of the Self: The Making of Modern Identity.Charles Taylor - 1994 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 54 (1):187-190.
Enlightenment Against Empire.Sankar Muthu - 2003 - Princeton University Press.
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding.Peter H. Nidditch (ed.) - 1979 - Oxford University Press UK.

View all 7 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Kant’s Theory of Cosmopolitanism and Hegel’s Critique.Robert Fine - 2003 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 29 (6):609-630.
Subjectivity and Orientation in Levinas and Kant.Stuart Dalton - 1999 - Continental Philosophy Review 32 (4):433-449.
Cosmopolitanism and Peace in Kant’s Essay on ‘Perpetual Peace’.Jørgen Huggler - 2010 - Studies in Philosophy and Education 29 (2):129-140.
Hoe men naar de eeuwige vrede beter niet kan lezen.Karel Mom - 2006 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 68 (1):77 - 99.
Are Kant’s Categories Subjective?William F. Bristow - 2002 - Review of Metaphysics 55 (3):551-580.


Added to PP index

Total views
1,161 ( #4,248 of 2,454,637 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
32 ( #24,136 of 2,454,637 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes