Download Kant and the End of War: A Critique of Just War Theory by Howard Williams PDF

By Howard Williams

Kant stands virtually unchallenged as one of many significant thinkers of the eu Enlightenment. This publication brings the guidelines of his serious philosophy to endure on one of many major political and felony questions of our age: lower than what conditions, if any, is recourse to battle legally and morally justifiable? This factor was once strikingly delivered to the fore by means of the 2003 conflict in Iraq. The e-book opinions the culture of simply conflict pondering and indicates how overseas legislations and diplomacy should be seen from another point of view that goals at a extra pacific process of states. rather than seeing the idea of simply battle as delivering a stabilizing context in which overseas politics might be performed, Williams argues that the speculation contributes to the present risky foreign situation. The simply struggle culture isn't the silver lining in a ordinarily darkish horizon yet fairly an imperative characteristic of the darkish horizon of present global politics. Kant was once one of many first and such a lot profound thinkers to moot this knowing of simply conflict reasoning and his paintings continues to be a vital place to begin for a severe idea of battle today.

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Extra info for Kant and the End of War: A Critique of Just War Theory

Sample text

Dogmatism in metaphysics arises not from the deployment of dogmatic procedures themselves (there is a place for such procedures in all philosophical enquiries) but rather in the adoption of ‘the dogmatic procedure of pure reason, without the antecedent critique of its own capacity’ (Bxxxv). Kant sees his predecessors in philosophy, such as Spinoza and Leibniz, as embracing an over-ambitious view of the capacities of human reason and its ability to dictate for nature and the human world the form that they should take.

Because of its connection with natural law, which was the main focus of political and legal philosophy in prior centuries, the law of nations was as much studied and discussed as internal political and legal issues. Certainly for Kant’s immediate precursors Gottfried Achenwall (1719–1772)12 and Christian Wolff (1679–1754)13 all questions of political and legal philosophy were dealt with under the heading of natural law. Within the framework of natural law the law of nations was regarded as a logical extension of the domestic legal and political spheres.

In commending these positive aspects of war Kant is neither recommending war as the best means of achieving those aims nor recommending the persistence of war as the way in which to attain these positives in the future. He is simply attempting to stress what is good within the bad. Clearly the pressure which peoples are put under by the experience of war leads them to cooperate, to innovate, and to demonstrate resolve and bravery. War has given an immeasurable boost to human productivity and technological innovation.

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