Autonomy and authority in Kant's rechtslehre

Political Theory 25 (1):93-111 (1997)
In the short essay on theory and practice, Kant declares that the social contract differs from all other types of contracts in that agreement to its is obligatory and may be exacted through the use of force. In this paper, I examine Kant's justification of the moral necessity of civil society. Kant locates the ground of our obligation to enter into a civil union in the necessity of property for action and civil society as the necessary condition of the institution of property. It is my contention that the idea of the social contract is central to this project in that it joins together both moral autonomy and political authority in a conceptual unity that establishes the legitimacy of civil society, or the juridical condition as the collective dimension of autonomy
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DOI 10.1177/0090591797025001005
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