Right and coercion: Can Kant's conception of right be derived from his moral theory?

Recently, there has been some discussion about the relationship between Kant's conception of right (the sphere of juridical rights and duties) and his moral theory (with the Categorical Imperative as its fundamental norm). In section 1, I briefly survey some recent contributions to this debate and distinguish between two different questions. First, does Kant's moral theory (as developed in the Groundwork and the Critique of Practical Reason ) imply , or validate, a Kantian conception of right (as developed in the first part of the Metaphysics of Morals , the Doctrine of Right)? In other words, is the Categorical Imperative sufficient to show that the fundamental principles of right are normatively valid? Second, does Kant's conception of right presuppose his moral theory? In other words, is the Categorical Imperative necessary to show that the basic principles of right are normatively valid? In this paper, I will be primarily concerned with defending a negative answer to the first of these questions. In section 2, I will discuss Paul Guyer's attempt to vindicate a positive answer to the same question. In section 3, reasons will be given why any attempt to derive Kant's conception of right from the Categorical Imperative must fail because of the analytic connection between right and coercion.
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DOI 10.1080/09672550802610982
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