The Legislative Authority

Kantian Review 24 (4):531-553 (2019)

Authors
Marie Newhouse
University of Surrey
Abstract
This article develops an account of the nature and limits of the state’s legislative authority that closely attends to the challenge of harmonizing Kant’s ethical and juridical theories. It clarifies some key Kantian concepts and terms, then explains the way in which the state’s three interlocking authorities – legislative, executive, and judicial – are metaphysically distinct and mutually dependent. It describes the emergence of the Kantian state and identifies the preconditions of its authority. Then it offers a metaphysical model of the Kantian state and uses it to argue that the activity of juridical lawgiving is an act of the omnilateral will itself. Legislative authority is limited in the sense that it does not include the capacity to create juridical laws that are conceptually incompatible with the idea of universal external freedom. I argue that my proposed account of the legislative authority is wholly consistent with that authority’s exclusive lawgiving capacity and does not threaten the possibility of ‘distributive justice’ – the legal finality that is the sine qua non of a civil condition.
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DOI 10.1017/s136941541900030x
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Kantian Dilemmas? Moral Conflict in Kant’s Ethical Theory.Jens Timmermann - 2013 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 95 (1):36-64.
Kant's Political Philosophy.Howard Williams - 1985 - Ethics 95 (2):366-368.

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