Interpretation 32 (2):151-169 (2005)

Chris W. Surprenant
University of New Orleans
Kant's views on revolution are notoriously paradoxical: on the one hand he appears to condemn all instances of revolution, but on the other he expresses enthusiasm for the French Revolution and other revolutionary acts. I argue that we can reconcile Kant’s views on revolution by examining instances when an individual is under a moral obligation to revolt. First, I show how Kant reconciles his position on the French Revolution with his position on revolution in general. His answer, however, raises additional questions involving revolution in relation to his overall philosophical theory. Next, I present what is generally understood to be Kant’s philosophy on revolution, and Christine Korsgaard’s analysis using this traditional understanding to reconcile his seemingly contradictory views. After critiquing her position, I present my own analysis of Kant’s philosophy, and show how this apparent paradox can be resolved by examining an individual’s overriding moral obligation to leave the state of nature and establish civil society.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Minority Oppression and Justified Revolution.Chris W. Surprenant - 2010 - Journal of Social Philosophy 41 (4):442-453.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
2,694 ( #1,112 of 2,445,401 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
21 ( #35,344 of 2,445,401 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes