Kant against Hobbes in theory and practice

Journal of Moral Philosophy 4 (2):194-206 (2007)
In the middle section of Theory and Practice , Kant speaks briefly `against <span class='Hi'>Hobbes</span>'; but for a fuller version of Kant's anti-Hobbesianism one must turn to the three Critiques , the Groundwork , and Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone . It is in those works that one learns that, for Kant, <span class='Hi'>Hobbes</span>'s notion of `will' as fully determined `last appetite' destroys the freedom needed to take `ought' or moral necessity as the motives for self-determined action; that <span class='Hi'>Hobbes</span>' s version of the social contract is thus incoherent; that <span class='Hi'>Hobbes</span> is not even able to show how moral ideas (i.e. `ought') are conceivable through the `pressure' of `outward objects'. For Kant, in short, <span class='Hi'>Hobbes</span> has no adequate notions of will, freedom, moral necessity, ideation, or even obligatory contract, and therefore fails in his own stated aims. Key Words: <span class='Hi'>Hobbes</span> • Kant • politics • reason • teleology • will.
Keywords politics   teleology   Kant   reason   Hobbes   will
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DOI 10.1177/1740468107079255
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