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Welfare in the Kantian State$
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Alexander Kaufman

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198294672

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198294670.001.0001

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Kant and Welfare

Kant and Welfare

(p.4) 1 Kant and Welfare
Welfare in the Kantian State

Alexander Kaufman (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Two formal arguments in favour of the traditional (libertarian) interpretation of Kant's political thought remain influential. The first argument asserts that Kant's metaphysical principles of right severely constrain the authority of the state to intervene to influence subjective welfare. The second claims that Kant's account of right cannot guide the positive content of the law, since positive law is by definition contingent. The first argument, however, is inconsistent with Kant's explicit arguments in the Rechtslehre, while the second argument confuses contingency of content with contingency of form in Kant's account of positive law.

Keywords:   content of law, contingency, form of law, justice, libertarianism, metaphysical principles, positive law, right, welfare

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