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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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Happiness and Welfare

Happiness and Welfare

(p.36) 2 Happiness and Welfare
Welfare in the Kantian State

Alexander Kaufman (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Many scholars view Kant's explicit rejection of the principle of ’welfare’, as a basis for legislation, as decisive in favour of the traditional (libertarian) interpretation of Kant's political thought. This reading, in fact, misconstrues both the subject matter and analytical level of Kant's claims. First, the traditional interpretation conflates the notion of welfare to which Kant objects with the general notion of social welfare. Second, the traditional interpretation misconstrues the level of generality of Kant's argument: Kant argues against a principle of welfare as the ground of a system of legislation, not as the ground of individual legislative acts.

Keywords:   cameralism, contingency, formal principles, legislation, libertarianism, material principles, paternalism, principle of happiness, social welfare, welfare

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