Problems in Kant's cosmopolitan vision of emancipation through the moral law

Brincat, Shannon K. (2011). Problems in Kant's cosmopolitan vision of emancipation through the moral law. In: International Studies Association 52nd Annual Convention. International Studies Association 52nd Annual Convention, Montreal, Canada, (). 16-19 March 2011.

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Author Brincat, Shannon K.
Title of paper Problems in Kant's cosmopolitan vision of emancipation through the moral law
Conference name International Studies Association 52nd Annual Convention
Conference location Montreal, Canada
Conference dates 16-19 March 2011
Proceedings title International Studies Association 52nd Annual Convention
Place of Publication Eugene, OR, USA
Publisher All Academic
Publication Year 2011
Sub-type Fully published paper
Total pages 34
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
This paper examines the correspondence between Kantian ethics and Kantian politics concerning the question of emancipation in world politics. The argument is divided into three parts, the first of which focuses on the political implications of Kant’s ethics, particularly the second formulation of the Categorical Imperative (CI) (the duty to treat all others as ends-in-themselves) and the normative ideal of the Kingdom of Ends this evinces. The moral law is interpreted as to set explicit ends for political development towards greater approximations of right and it is this notion that is taken to be the core of Kant’s vision of emancipation – an ideal that continues to animate Critical Theory (CT) and Critical International Relations Theory (CIRT). The second part critically interrogates this emancipatory potential in the moral law against the programmatic aspects of Kant’s political philosophy and finds that key aspects of Kant’s politics openly contradict the ethical precepts of the CI in regards to; (i) public discriminations against women and dependents; (ii) the permissibility of social inequality, and; (iii) undue limitations imposed on resistance and political change. In the final part, Kant’s ethics are tested against his idea of the World Federation and whether it is sufficiently rendered to approximate the Kingdom of Ends in the cosmopolitan sphere. By exploring some of the limitations Kant placed on cosmopolitan community, the chapter concludes by suggesting that it is the attempt to overcome these shortcomings in the original Kantian program that motivates a significant part of the ongoing commitment to the emancipatory project in CIRT.
Keyword Cosmopolitanism
Critical International Relations Theory
Ethical teleology
Kingdom of Ends
Q-Index Code E1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Convention theme: Global Governance: Political Authority in Transition; Panel: Critiquing the Kantian legacy in International Relations

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Created: Wed, 22 Feb 2012, 14:39:43 EST by Elmari Louise Whyte on behalf of School of Political Science & Internat'l Studies