Chapter

Happiness 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/10.1093/0198294670.003.0003
 Happiness and Welfare

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Many scholars view Kant's explicit rejection of the principle of ’welfare’, as a basis for legislation, as decisive in favour of the traditional (libertarian) interpretation of Kant's political thought. This reading, in fact, misconstrues both the subject matter and analytical level of Kant's claims. First, the traditional interpretation conflates the notion of welfare to which Kant objects with the general notion of social welfare. Second, the traditional interpretation misconstrues the level of generality of Kant's argument: Kant argues against a principle of welfare as the ground of a system of legislation, not as the ground of individual legislative acts.

Keywords: cameralism; contingency; formal principles; legislation; libertarianism; material principles; paternalism; principle of happiness; social welfare; welfare

Chapter.  10026 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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