Kant on Citizenship and Universal Independence

Australian Journal of Legal Philosophy 33 (2008)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Kant's political philosophy draws a distinction between 'passive' citizens who are merely protected by the law and 'active' citizens who may also contribute to it. Although the distinction between passive and active citizens is often dismissed by scholars as an 'illiberal and undemocratic' relic of eighteenth century prejudice, the distinction is found in every democracy that distinguishes between mere inhabitants -- such as tourists and guestworkers -- and enfranchised citizens. The purpose of this essay is both interpretive and suggestive. First, I will argue that Kant's mature distinction between active and passive citizens follows from an institutional deficiency in the the developing state rather than the natural deficiency of passive citizens, as Kant's critics have alleged. Second, I will draw on systematic features of Kant's political thought in order to claim that the state has a duty to create the institutional conditions of universal active citizenship.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,369

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Is Kant a Moral Constructivist or a Moral Realist?Paul Formosa - 2011 - European Journal of Philosophy 21 (2):170-196.
Aristotle on Ontological Dependence.Phil Corkum - 2008 - Phronesis 53 (1):65 - 92.
What is claimed in a Kantian judgment of taste?Miles Rind - 2000 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 38 (1):63-85.
How does Kant justify the universal objective validity of the law of right?Gerhard Seel - 2009 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 17 (1):71 – 94.
Cosmopolitan Community and the Law of World Citizenship.Sharon Anderson-Gold - 2007 - The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 3:45-50.


Added to PP

61 (#265,870)

6 months
13 (#202,760)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Jacob Weinrib
University of Toronto, St. George (PhD)

Citations of this work

Freedom and poverty in the Kantian state.Rafeeq Hasan - 2018 - European Journal of Philosophy 26 (3):911-931.
Kant on Civil Self-Sufficiency.Luke Davies - 2023 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 105 (1):118-140.
Kant, coercion, and the legitimation of inequality.Benjamin L. McKean - 2022 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 25 (4):528-550.

View all 12 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references