David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Politics 68 (3):556-570 (2006)
Against several recent interpretations, I argue in this paper that Immanuel Kant's support for enlightened absolutism was a permanent feature of his political thought that fit comfortably within his larger philosophy, though he saw such rule as part of a transition to democratic self-government initiated by the absolute monarch himself. I support these contentions with (1) a detailed exegesis of Kant’s essay "What is Enlightenment?" (2) an argument that Kantian republicanism requires not merely a separation of powers but also a representative democratic legislature, and (3) a demonstration that each stage of a democratic transition can potentially be in an absolute monarch’s short-run self-interest. I conclude the paper by defending Kant's theory of democratization against charges of consequentialism and paternalism and by pointing out its similarity to other accounts of democratic transitions (for example, those of Samuel Huntington and Guillermo O'Donnell), suggesting a previously unnoticed opportunity for cross-fertilization between political philosophy and comparative politics.
|Keywords||Immanuel Kant enlightened despotism philosophy of history|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Paul Guyer (ed.) (2006). The Cambridge Companion to Kant and Modern Philosophy. Cambridge University Press.
Robert Keith Shaw (2007). The Peculiar Place of Enlightenment Ideals in the Governance Concept of Citizenship and Democracy. In Michael Peters, Harry Blee, Penny Enslin & Alan Britton (eds.), Global Citizenship Education. SENSE Publishers.
Pauline Kleingeld (1999). Kant, History, and the Idea of Moral Development. History of Philosophy Quarterly 16 (1):59-80.
Pauline Kleingeld (2003). Kant’s Cosmopolitan Patriotism. Kant-Studien 94 (3):299-316.
Patrick Kain (2011). Der Charackter der Gattung. In Otfried Höffe (ed.), Immanuel Kant: Schriften zur Geschichtsphilosophie. Akademie Verlag.
Immanuel Kant (1991). Kant: Political Writings. Cambridge University Press.
Alyssa R. Bernstein (2010). Review of Ripstein, Force and Freedom: Kant's Legal and Political Philosophy. [REVIEW] Journal of the History of Philosophy 48 (4):531-532.
Robert S. Taylor (2012). The Progress of Absolutism in Kant's Essay What is Enlightenment? In Elisabeth Ellis (ed.), Kant's Political Theory: Interpretations and Applications. Pennsylvania State University Press.
Yvonne Chiu & Robert S. Taylor (2011). The Self-Extinguishing Despot: Millian Democratization, or The Autophagous Autocrat. Journal of Politics 73 (4):1239-50.
Added to index2009-07-29
Total downloads86 ( #16,294 of 1,101,833 )
Recent downloads (6 months)14 ( #16,091 of 1,101,833 )
How can I increase my downloads?