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Document Details :

Title: Politics and Normativity
Subtitle: A Kantian Rejoinder to Raymond Geuss' Dismissal of the Metaphysics of Morals
Author(s): HAVUGIMANA, Théogène
Journal: Ethical Perspectives
Volume: 25    Issue: 2   Date: 2018   
Pages: 177-201
DOI: 10.2143/EP.25.2.3284944

Abstract :
Kant’s Metaphysics of Morals has been the subject of several ongoing discussions in political realism. This article engages with Raymond Geuss’ explicit refutation of Kant’s metaphysical foundations of politics. It contends that the key argument missed by Geuss is Kant’s Copernican Revolution in moral (ethical and political) practical theory. This means, Kant’s most innovative discovery of the fact that first, human reason can be pure, that is it contains a pure principle; second, pure reason can be practical, that is it can immediately determine the will (self-legislation). In showing that this discovery is the most basic ground upon which the universal principle of right is derived, this article argues that Kant succeeds to connect politics to the core principle of his system of critical moral philosophy. It is thus claimed that the causal primacy of the law of pure practical reason does not make Kant’s argument disconnected from political reality. It rather, teleologically speaking, shows how the entire race of human rational beings constantly fulfils its political duty to progressively achieve, despite countless historical obstacles, its spirit of freedom as autonomy.

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