How Kant's Conception of Reason Implies a Liberal Politics

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This work examines the relation that exists between Kant’s critical philosophy and his mature political doctrine. The author argues that Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason contains an account of the faculty of reason and the way it shaped his liberal political theory of The Metaphysics of Morals and of his later essays on politics. In so doing, this study fills a gap in the current secondary literature on Kant – the relationship between Kant’s first Critique and his political philosophy is rarely explored by contemporary Kant scholars and by political philosophers.


“ ... by clearly unveiling both the systematic underpinnings of Kant’s political philosophy, as well as clearly capturing the specific conceptual moves Kant makes in deriving his theory of juridical right within the confines of his theory of pure reason, Patrone’s study provides a wealth of insight for both historians of philosophy and contemporary philosophers alike.” – Dr. James R. Walker, Visiting Assistant Professor, Union College, Schenectady, New York

“In this work on Kant’s political theory, Tatiana Patrone breaks the mould and presents a careful study of the interconnections between Kant’s theoretical and practical philosophy in which the rational idea of the unconditioned provides the crucial link. ... Not only will this work fill a gap in the Kantian literature but also it will provide resources for those interested in the systematic character of Kantian philosophy and the theoretical foundations of liberalism.” – Professor Sharon Anderson-Gold, Head of Department of Sciences and Technology Studies, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

“After a careful interpretation of the ideas of reason as developed in the Critique of Pure Reason and as applied in the ‘Doctrine of Right’, Patrone concludes that Kant’s critical philosophy is not only useful for understanding his political project, but that Kant’s ‘comprehenseive’ theory of right is simply impossible without it.” – Dr. Helga Varden, Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Table of Contents

1 Reading Kant’s “Doctrine of Right”: Some Preliminary Remarks
2 Kant’s Political Theory in the Context of His Critical Project
3 Ideas of Reason
4 Ideas of Reason in the “Doctrine of Right”
5 Conclusion

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