On Kant’s Duty to Speak the Truth

Kantian Review 21 (1):27-51 (2016)

Thomas Mertens
Radboud University Nijmegen
In, Kant defends a position that cannot be salvaged. The essay is nonetheless important because it helps us understand his philosophy of law and, more specifically, his interpretation of the social contract. Kant considers truthfulness a strict legal duty because it is the necessary condition for the juridical state. As attested by Kants arguments against the death penalty, not even the right to life has such strict unconditional status. Within the juridical state, established by the social contract, the innate right to freedom is transformed into a bundle of merely positive rights, including the right to life. Understanding the reason for the rejection of thus helps us understand the, in a sense, character of Kant’s legal philosophy. In conclusion, some suggestions are made to bring his position closer to our common moral understanding
Keywords lying  Kant’s philosophy of law  right to life  social contract  Beccaria  legal positivism
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DOI 10.1017/s1369415415000291
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References found in this work BETA

The Law of Peoples.John Rawls - 1999 - Philosophical Quarterly 51 (203):246-253.
Kantian Dilemmas? Moral Conflict in Kant’s Ethical Theory.Jens Timmermann - 2013 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 95 (1):36-64.
Lectures on the History of Moral Philosophy.John Rawls & Barbara Herman - 2002 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (1):178-179.

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A Juridical Right to Lie.Hamish Stewart - 2019 - Kantian Review 24 (3):465-481.

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