Chapter

Enlightenment and law

in Kant

Published in print August 2001 | ISBN: 9780192801999
Published online September 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191775482 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/actrade/9780192801999.003.0007

Series: Very Short Introductions

Enlightenment and law

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  • History of Western Philosophy
  • 17th - 18th Century Philosophy
  • Christianity
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The critical philosophy is a metaphilosophy, a philosophy about philosophy. Kant believed that in the practical sphere the critical method made direct contact with moral judgement and brought forth conclusions that must be accepted, even if people have an interest in denying them. ‘Englightenment and law’ addresses the philosophical questions which involved politics that Kant turned to in his last years. He was hoping that by the use of the critical method he could help settle some of the vexing question of legitimacy and right. Morality is the core of practical reason but it is not the whole of it. Law, for Kant, has the same metaphysical basis as morality, and is therefore grounded a priori in the idea of transcendental freedom.

Keywords: abbé; categorical imperative; democracy; Enlightenment; justice; liberalism; John Locke; natural law; Powers; social contract; Universalism

Chapter.  5264 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy ; 17th - 18th Century Philosophy ; Christianity ; Political Theory

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