David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Philosophical Research 17:383-426 (1992)
The tension between Kant’s egalitarian conception of persons as ends in themselves and his rejection of the right of revolution has been widely discussed. The crucial issue is more fundamental: Is Kant’s defense of absolute obedience consistent with his own principle of legitimate law, that legitimate law is compatible with the Categorical Imperative? Resolving this apparent inconsistency resolves the subsidiary inconsistencies that have been debated in the literature. I argue that Kant’s legal principles contain two distinct grounds of obligation to obey political authority. One lies in his metaphysical principles of law, according to which there is only a duty to obey legitimate law or fully legitimate authorities. Another lies in his moral-pragmatic principles. He believes that membership in the state helps improve one’s character by counter-balancing one’s immoral inclinations. This is his ultimate ground for obedience to de facto, imperfectly legitimate states. On this ground, the duty to obey an actual state is conditional. Kant’s strong statements about the duty to obey actual states is explained by the ease with which he thinks the relevant condition is met by extant states. The apparent ambiguities in his discussion of obedience point to some important philosophical and historical shortcomings of his analysis of the division of govemmental powers and of judicial competence which hamper his analysis of the duty to obey the state
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
Kenneth R. Westphal (2007). Normative Constructivism: Hegel's Radical Social Philosophy. SATS: Northern European Journal of Philosophy 8 (2):7-41.
Similar books and articles
William A. Edmundson (1998). Legitimate Authority Without Political Obligation. Law and Philosophy 17 (1):43 - 60.
Christopher Heath Wellman (2005). Is There a Duty to Obey the Law? Cambridge University Press.
William A. Edmundson (2010). Political Authority, Moral Powers and the Intrinsic Value of Obedience. Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 30 (1):179-191.
David Lefkowitz (2004). Legitimate Political Authority and the Duty of Those Subject to It: A Critique of Edmundson. Law and Philosophy 23 (4):399 - 435.
Ruth C. A. Higgins (2004). The Moral Limits of Law: Obedience, Respect, and Legitimacy. Oxford University Press.
Philip Soper (2002). The Ethics of Deference: Learning From Law's Morals. Cambridge University Press.
Kevin Thompson (2001). Kant's Transcendental Deduction of Political Authority. Kant-Studien 92 (1):62-78.
William A. Edmundson (2006). The Virtue of Law-Abidance. Philosophers' Imprint 6 (4):1-21.
Joseph Raz (1979). The Authority of Law: Essays on Law and Morality. Oxford University Press.
Thomas M. Hughes (2012). Is Political Obligation Necessary for Obedience? Hobbes on Hostility, War and Obligation. Teoria Politica 2:77-99.
Jason Wyckoff (2010). The Inseparability Thesis. Southwest Philosophy Review 26 (1):51-59.
Reidar Maliks (2013). Kant, the State, and Revolution. Kantian Review 18 (1):29-47.
Matthew Lister (2012). Review of Sovereignty’s Promise: The State as Fiduciary by Evan Fox-Decent. [REVIEW] Ethics 123 (1):150-4.
Margaret Martin (2010). Raz's The Morality of Freedom: Two Models of Authority. Jurisprudence 1 (1):63-84.
Andrews Reath (2003). Value and Law in Kant's Moral Theory. [REVIEW] Ethics 114 (1):127-155.
Added to index2011-12-02
Total downloads20 ( #97,958 of 1,679,401 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #59,947 of 1,679,401 )
How can I increase my downloads?