November 21, 2020
This paper offers the first French translation of the “Introduction” (“Einleitung”) of the only available manuscript of the natural law course (which Kant taught between 1767 and 1788) known as Naturrecht Feyerabend (1784). The translation is preceded by a “Présentation” which, in particular, aims to establish the important but often ignored place of the “Introduction” of the Naturrecht Feyerabend in the development of Kant’s moral thought. The most obvious interest of the Naturrecht Feyerabend is related to the year in which this course was taught: 1784, a crucial year in the evolution of Kant’s moral thought, where Kant worked to complete the Grundlegung der Metaphysik der Sitten . In this regard, the “Présentation” that we propose for the French translation of the “Introduction” emphasizes that the Introduction of the NF contains arguments which are not found in the Grundlegung der Metaphysik der Sitten (among others the arguments that only freedom gives dignity and makes rational beings ends in themselves and that freedom must be a law to itself). To this extent, this “Présentation” aims to contribute to showing that the Introduction of the NF is a valuable text for the historian of Kantian thought who wants to reconstruct the development of Kant’s moral thought.