Social Philosophy and Policy 27 (2):274-296 (2010)

Authors
Bernard Boxill
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Abstract
Kant claimed that we have a duty to seek peace, and encouraged a hope for peace to support that duty. To encourage that hope he argued that peace was reasonably likely. He thought that peace was reasonably likely because he believed that historical trends would create opportunities to implement his plan for peace. But authorities claim that globalization is undermining such opportunities. Consequently Kant's arguments can no longer sustain our hope for peace. We can sustain that hope by devising a new plan for peace that globalization will give us opportunities to implement. But in order to devise such a plan we need to sustain our hope for peace. We can sustain such a hope by reflecting on the value of peace because hope is sustained not only by the belief that the object of hope is likely, but also by the conviction that it is valuable. In this way we can perhaps sustain a hope for peace that will support our duty to seek peace. But the fear of war and compassion for the victims of war may also support the duty to seek peace. Kant ignored these opportunities to support the duty to seek peace because they could support only the duty to avoid war. But Kant never showed that the duty to seek peace—as he saw it—outweighed the duty to avoid war. I conclude that Kant's arguments lead us to endless war rather than to peace.
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DOI 10.1017/S0265052509990239
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References found in this work BETA

Leviathan.Thomas Hobbes - 1651 - Harmondsworth, Penguin.
Upheavals of Thought.Martha Nussbaum - 2001 - Journal of Religious Ethics 31 (2):325-341.
Kant: Political Writings.Immanuel Kant - 1991 - Cambridge University Press.
The Value of Hope.Luc Bovens - 1999 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 59 (3):667-681.

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