"The Twofold Morality of Kantian Recht"

10/30/2015 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm
Main Administration 005
Speaker(s) / Presenter(s): 
Paul Guyer (Brown University)

Several prominent interpreters have argued that Kant's political philosophy is not grounded upon the fundamental principle of his moral philosophy.  Some of the arguments used to defend this counterintuitive position were advanced by Fichte before Kant had even published the final form of his political philosophy.  I argue that they are wrong.  Iti s true that Kant's conception of juridical law (Recht) allows for the enforcement of duties falling in its domain through incentives other than respect for the moral law itself, as Fichte emphasized, but this does not mean such duties are not moral: morality itself requires that its subjects fulfill its duties, in particular its prohibitions, however they get themselves to do it.  Thus morality not only specifies the basic obligations of Recht but also requires their coercive enforcement when other incentives do not suffice.

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