Chapter

Kant and Welfare

Alexander Kaufman

in Welfare in the Kantian State

Published in print March 1999 | ISBN: 9780198294672
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599637 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198294670.003.0002
 Kant and Welfare

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Two formal arguments in favour of the traditional (libertarian) interpretation of Kant's political thought remain influential. The first argument asserts that Kant's metaphysical principles of right severely constrain the authority of the state to intervene to influence subjective welfare. The second claims that Kant's account of right cannot guide the positive content of the law, since positive law is by definition contingent. The first argument, however, is inconsistent with Kant's explicit arguments in the Rechtslehre, while the second argument confuses contingency of content with contingency of form in Kant's account of positive law.

Keywords: content of law; contingency; form of law; justice; libertarianism; metaphysical principles; positive law; right; welfare

Chapter.  12608 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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