A Kantian Justification of Possession
In M. Timmons (ed.), Kant’s Metaphysics of Ethics: Interpretive Essays. Oxford University Press (2002)
Kant’s justification of possession appears to assume rather than prove its legitimacy. This apparent question-begging has been recapitulated or exacerbated but not resolved in the literature. However, Kant provides a sound justification of limited rights to possess and use things (qualified choses in possession), not of private property rights. Kant’s argument is not purely a priori; it is in Kant’s Critical sense ‘metaphysical’ because it applies the pure a priori ‘Universal Principles of Right’ to the concept of finite rational human agency. This use implicitly involves a ‘Contradiction in Conception’ test, which I explicate in detail. The limited rights to possession and use justified by Kant’s argument suffice for his social contract argument for the legitimacy of the state.
|Keywords||usufruct use rights property Critical metaphysics|
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Citations of this work BETA
Mutual Recognition and Rational Justification in Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit.Kenneth R. Westphal - 2009 - Dialogue 48 (4):753-99.
Kant Goes Fishing: Kant and the Right to Property in Environmental Resources.Angela Breitenbach - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 36 (3):488-512.
Kant Goes Fishing: Kant and the Right to Property in Environmental Resources.Angela Breitenbach - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 36 (3):488-512.
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