One Community or Many? From Logic to Juridical Law, via Metaphysics [in Kant]

In Howard Williams, Sorin Baiasu & Sami Pihlstrom (eds.), Politics and Metaphysics in Kant. Political Philosophy Now: University of Wales Press (2011)
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There are at least five ‘core’ notions of community found in Kant's works: 1. The scientific notion of interaction. This concept is introduced in the Third Analogy and developed in the Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science. 2. A metaphysical idea. The idea of a world of individuals (monads) in interaction. This idea was developed in Kant’s precritical period and can be found in his metaphysics lectures. 3. A moral ideal. The idea of a realm of ends. 4. A political ideal. The idea of a juridical community (or community of communities) governed by juridical laws. 5. A theological ideal. What Kant calls ‘the kingdom of heaven’, and which can be thought of as a community of holy beings, or angels. In this paper I focus on the relationship between the first, second and fourth of these notions. My argument is that Kant’s notion of a juridical community governed by juridical laws is modelled on the metaphysical idea of the world. This metaphysical idea of a world is, in turn, modelled on the category of community introduced in the first Critique and developed in his logic lectures.



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Lucas Thorpe
Bogazici University

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