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Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie

Ed. by Horn, Christoph / Serck-Hanssen, Camilla / Carriero, John / Meyer, Susan Sauvé

Editorial Board: Adamson, Peter / Allen, James V. / Bartuschat, Wolfgang / Curley, Edwin M / Emilsson, Eyjólfur Kjalar / Floyd, Juliet / Förster, Eckart / Frede, Dorothea / Friedman, Michael / Garrett, Don / Grasshoff, Gerd / Guyer, Paul / Irwin, Terence / Kahn, Charles H. / Knuuttila, Simo / Koistinen, Olli / Kosch, Michelle / Kraut, Richard / Longuenesse, Béatrice / McCabe, Mary / Pasnau, Robert / Perler, Dominik / Reginster, Bernard / Simmons, Alison / Timmermann, Jens / Trifogli, Cecilia / Weidemann, Hermann / Zöller, Günter

4 Issues per year

CiteScore 2017: 0.33

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.335
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.968

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Volume 96, Issue 1


Human Nature and the Right to Coerce in Kant’s Doctrine of Right

Alice Pinheiro Walla
Published Online: 2014-04-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/agph-2014-0006

Abstract: This paper explores the alleged role of a conception of human nature for Kant’s justification of the duty to leave the state of nature and the related right to coerce others to enter the civil condition in the Doctrine of Right (1797). I criticise the interpretation put forward by Byrd and Hruschka, according to which Kant’s postulate of public right is a preventive measure based on a “presumption of badness” of human beings. Although this reading seems to be supported by § 42 of the Doctrine of Right, I shall argue that the paragraph neither offers a justification of why we have a duty to leave the state of nature, nor explains why individuals are allowed to coerce others to do so. I offer an alternative interpretation of § 42 by focusing on the difference between formal and material violations of right and argue that the rationale behind the postulate of public right is the idea that remaining in the state of nature is a formal violation of the concept of right. It is therefore not prudential reason that authorizes us to coerce others to enter the lawful condition.

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Published Online: 2014-04-01

Published in Print: 2014-04-01

Citation Information: Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie, Volume 96, Issue 1, Pages 126–139, ISSN (Online) 1613-0650, ISSN (Print) 0003-9101, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/agph-2014-0006.

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