Kant's non-voluntarist conception of political obligations: Why justice is impossible in the state of nature

Kantian Review 13 (2):1-45 (2008)
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Abstract

This paper presents and defends Kant’s non-voluntarist conception of political obligations. I argue that civil society is not primarily a prudential requirement for justice; it is not merely a necessary evil or moral response to combat our corrupting nature or our tendency to act viciously, thoughtlessly or in a biased manner. Rather, civil society is constitutive of rightful relations because only in civil society can we interact in ways reconcilable with each person’s innate right to freedom. Civil society is the means through which we can rightfully interact even on the ideal assumption that no one ever succumbs to immoral temptation.

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Helga Varden
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Citations of this work

Kant and Women.Helga Varden - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (4):653-694.
Kant’s Racism.Lucy Allais - 2016 - Philosophical Papers 45 (1-2):1-36.
The provisionality of property rights in Kant’s Doctrine of Right.Rafeeq Hasan - 2018 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 48 (6):850-876.
Kant’s Political Philosophy.Kyla Ebels-Duggan - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (12):896-909.

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References found in this work

Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - New York: Basic Books.
Two treatises of government.John Locke - 1947 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Peter Laslett.
Political Liberalism.J. Rawls - 1995 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.
Kant.Paul Guyer - 2006 - New York: Routledge.

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