Chapter

Kant

Martin Wight

in Four Seminal Thinkers in International Theory

Published in print December 2004 | ISBN: 9780199273676
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602771 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199273677.003.0003
Kant

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Kant was the greatest of modern philosophers. He held that we have knowledge of the phenomenal world alone; of the realm of the noumenal we have only moral experience. But he had moral passion in his notion of the categorical imperative, or goodwill dedicated to duty. Kant’s revolutionism is seen in the idea of the homogeneity of states—a federation of ‘republics’; or alternatively in cosmopolitanism— a world of individuals and peoples rather than of governments and states. Kant’s belief in the harmony of interests underlies his doctrine of progress. There are categories of Kantians, although Kant himself was both comprehensive and universal as a philosopher.

Keywords: categorical imperative; categories of Kantians; cosmopolitanism; duty; federation of ‘republics’; harmony of interests; noumenal; perpetual peace; phenomenal; progress; revolutionism

Chapter.  8094 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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