Kant's Politics in Context

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9780199645152: Kant's Politics in Context

Kant's Politics in Context is the first book-length contextual study of Kant's legal and political philosophy. It gives an account of the development of his thought before, during, and after the French revolution. The book argues that Kant provided a philosophical defence of the revolution's liberal ideals while aiming to avoid the twin dangers of anarchy and despotism. Central to this was a concept of freedom as non-domination, constituted by legal rights and duties within a state. The close connection between freedom and the rule of law accounts for the centrality of the state in Kant's liberalism. Understanding Kant's political philosophy poses difficulties that can be resolved by paying attention to the high stakes debates in Germany during the 1790s, of which it was a part. Kant's theory of politics was not the result of dispassionate academic reasoning, but crystallized in polemical interventions against his conservative and radical critics in debates about freedom, political rights, revolution, and international law. By revealing the neglected origins of Kant's political concepts, this book explains their meaning as well as their relevance to current debates in political philosophy.

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About the Author:


Reidar Maliks, Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Oslo

Reidar Maliks' articles have appeared in journals including Kantian Review and History of Political Thought and he is the co-editor of Kantian Theory and Human Rights. He is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oslo.

Review:


"Kant thought of philosophy, including political philosophy, as an a priori discipline. As such, his work might be expected to be resistant or even hostile to any sort of contextualization. In this excellent book, Reidar Maliks explores Kant's relation to the events of his era and the political debates of his contemporaries, but does so without dismissing or compromising his philosophical ambitions. It will be essential reading for both Kant scholars and anyone interested in the history of political thought." - Arthur Ripstein, Professor of Law and Philosophy, University of Toronto


"By meticulously reconstructing the lively debates between Kant and his many interlocutors, including both his radical and conservative followers, Reidar Maliks illuminates the revolutionary circumstances that shaped Kant's political thought. Maliks' incisive philosophical analysis of Kant on freedom, equality, citizenship, resistance, and peace elucidates German Enlightenment republican thought on its own terms and yet, precisely in doing so, demonstrates its resonances with contemporary political dilemmas." - Sankar Muthu, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago


"That Immanuel Kant idealized the public sphere in a time in which the public sphere was still more an ideal than an actually reality is well known. Less well known is that he intentionally developed his own philosophy in public discourse. This is one of the insights of Reidar Maliks' book, a welcome contribution in the knowledge of a philosopher whose ideas shaped so deeply the way the moderns came to conceive of politics as a discursive practice in the open that relies on information and citizens' judgment. Maliks' is a must-read book." - Nadia Urbinati, Professor of Political Theory, Columbia University


"In the past decades, political philosophy has recovered the systematic appeal of Kant's legal and political thought, but often at the cost of separating it from its origins in the late Enlightenment debates on liberty and paternalism, on republicanism and autocracy, on peace, revolution, and war. Reidar Maliks identifies Kant's important precursors in theories of sovereignty and natural law, but also introduces his lesser known interlocutors, conservative or radical, in Europe's revolutionary debates. Maliks offers the first comprehensive English-language contextual reading of Kant's political thought, embedding Kant into the discussions of his age, yet never losing sight of the conceptual standards of todays philosophical debate." - Peter Niesen, Professor of Political Theory, University of Hamburg


"Maliks not only succeeds in bringing these contexts to life, but he also contributes to a more profound systematic understanding of Kant's political philosophy. ... In sum, this is an excellent book and a very good read. It would be desirable if more followed the methodology of contextualism as it is applied in this book." - Georg Cavallar, British Journal for the History of Philosophy


"This is a lucid and fascinating study of Kant's political thought in historical context. ... It greatly enriches our understanding of the development of Kant's political thinking in the 1790s, and provides an excellent (and in anglophone scholarship long overdue) introduction into the broader political debates in the German public sphere in the post-revolutionary period." - Eva Piirimae, Intellectual History Review


"Kant's Politics in Context is a remarkable piece of scholarship. Unusually, it will make for stimulating reading for Kant scholars--who have much to gain from Maliks's contextualist approach--as well as serving as a clear introduction to Kant's political theory. ...we can be thankful to Reidar Maliks for restoring to full view the teleology of a human being urgently and consummately engaged with the political issues of his day." - Ben Holland, History of European Ideas


"Maliks' groundbreaking study shows that Kant's solutions appear much less mysterious once the development in Kant's thought is connected to the contemporaneous debates on the political implications of his philosophy." - Sofie Moller, European Journal of Political Theory


"This is scholarship at a very high level. Scrupulously well argued and rigorously structured, Maliks's book offers some fascinating insights into Kant's political philosophy and his times." - Los Angeles Review of Books


"Reidar Maliks' excellent volume presents Kant's reflections on politics as a body of thought that develops via a lively debate with his contemporaries, both conservative and radical philosophers, living in the wake of the revolutionary events that took place in France at the end of the eighteenth century. The accuracy of the scholarship is furthermore paired with an enjoyable style. The structure is clear and facilitates the reader in following the argument"
--History of Political Thought


"

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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2014. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Kants Politics in Context shows how Kant developed his legal and political philosophy in an environment of controversy between conservative and radical observers of the French Revolution. Reidar Maliks argues that Kant recognized in the Revolution of 1789 his own concept of equal freedom, which he in the following decade developed into a theory of law and the state. This concept of freedom was at the root of his condemnation of paternalistic government, which makes persons dependent on the good will of a ruler, and his denunciation of direct democracy, which subjects persons to the arbitrary decisions of a majority. It led Kant to develop a republican constitutionalism, where persons are free and independent because they are subject only to law. That Kant idealized the public sphere is well known, but that he intentionally developed his own philosophy in polemical articles and pamphlets aimed for a wide audience has not been fully appreciated. Paying attention to the debates he sparked during. Codice libro della libreria AOP9780199645152

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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2014. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Kants Politics in Context shows how Kant developed his legal and political philosophy in an environment of controversy between conservative and radical observers of the French Revolution. Reidar Maliks argues that Kant recognized in the Revolution of 1789 his own concept of equal freedom, which he in the following decade developed into a theory of law and the state. This concept of freedom was at the root of his condemnation of paternalistic government, which makes persons dependent on the good will of a ruler, and his denunciation of direct democracy, which subjects persons to the arbitrary decisions of a majority. It led Kant to develop a republican constitutionalism, where persons are free and independent because they are subject only to law. That Kant idealized the public sphere is well known, but that he intentionally developed his own philosophy in polemical articles and pamphlets aimed for a wide audience has not been fully appreciated. Paying attention to the debates he sparked during. Codice libro della libreria AOP9780199645152

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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press. Hardback. Condizione libro: new. BRAND NEW, Kant's Politics in Context, Reidar Maliks, Kants Politics in Context shows how Kant developed his legal and political philosophy in an environment of controversy between conservative and radical observers of the French Revolution. Reidar Maliks argues that Kant recognized in the Revolution of 1789 his own concept of equal freedom, which he in the following decade developed into a theory of law and the state. This concept of freedom was at the root of his condemnation of paternalistic government, which makes persons dependent on the good will of a ruler, and his denunciation of direct democracy, which subjects persons to the arbitrary decisions of a majority. It led Kant to develop a republican constitutionalism, where persons are free and independent because they are subject only to law. That Kant idealized the public sphere is well known, but that he intentionally developed his own philosophy in polemical articles and pamphlets aimed for a wide audience has not been fully appreciated. Paying attention to the debates he sparked during the 1790s- where radical followers like Fichte, Erhard, and Bergk clashed with conservative critics like Rehberg, Moser, and Gentz- can help us understand Kants political philosophy. The first comprehensive account of Kants politics in context, this book provides a fresh perspective both on a foundational moment for modern political philosophy and on Kants central political concepts, including freedom, rights, citizenship, revolution, and war. Codice libro della libreria B9780199645152

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