Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-viii

Contents

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pp. ix-x

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Preface

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pp. xi-xiv

This book began in earnest on a particularly gray Edinburgh morning with a single question: Why does Kant persistently employ the term providence in his IR-related works? Two passages in particular attracted my attention: Kant’s declaration in Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Aim that “a justification of nature—or better, of providence—is no unimportant motive for choosing a particular viewpoint for considering the world,” and a similar pronouncement in Toward Perpetual Peace in which the persistence of the concept of right...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xv-xvi

A book has many debts. This book owes its origin to an animated discussion of Kant in the Institute of Development Studies bar at the University of Sussex involving Kamran Matan and Justin Rosenberg, whose curiosity regarding my throwaway interjection that Immanuel Kant was “history’s greatest monster” inadvertently started me on this path. Vassilis Paipas has been my most consistent interlocutor on all things Kant and political-theological and has commented on most of the chapters contained herein with good humour and...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-28

In 1795 and 1796 Immanuel Kant wrote two essays that reference in their titles the desire for the permanent cessation of hostilities in philosophy and international politics. The first of these essays, Toward Perpetual Peace, argues for peace among states as both a political necessity and a moral requirement. The second, Proclamation of the Imminent Conclusion of a Treaty of Perpetual Peace in Philosophy, proposes an end to the intractable dispute in philosophy between dogmatic and skeptical factions. Although Kant continued to publish...

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Chapter 1. Unholy Human Beings and Holy Humanity in Kant’s Critical and Practical Philosophy

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pp. 29-50

To begin to understand the positions undertaken by Kant in his IR-relevant works such as Toward Perpetual Peace, one must first recognize that these essays are products of a much wider project, i.e., Kant’s advocacy of a reorientation of mankind’s perception of itself. This chapter concerns itself with what might be called the anthropological implications of the critical philosophy, which in turn lay the ground for Kant’s political and international theory. In the reading offered here, I employ “mankind” when referring to the human race as...

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Chapter 2. Independence from Nature: Preparing the Ground for Perpetual Peace in the Third Critique

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pp. 51-67

The third Critique represents a shift in emphasis for Kant in that he moves away from a concern with the limits of knowledge and the content of rational morality as explored in the first two critiques toward an approach based on universal subjectivity designed to address those issues of human existence that are outside the purview of the strict domains of understanding and reason. It is this shift in emphasis that allows Kant to enter the final phase of his career, a period of speculation on politics, anthropology, and theology—subjects directly...

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Chapter 3. The Problem of International Politics: Human Beings within the Mechanism of Nature

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pp. 68-102

In a manner that demonstrates the intertwining of his critical-philosophical works and his international theory, Kant commences his engagement with global politics in the 1784 essay Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Aim (which itself anticipates many of the themes of the third Critique regarding the purposiveness of nature), by means of a distinction between the freedom of the will, viewed as a metaphysical idea, and “its appearances, the human actions,” which appear to be determined “just as much as every other natural...

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Chapter 4. The Instruction of Suffering: Kant’s Theological Anthropology

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pp. 103-120

The resolution of human political history in the form identified in Toward Perpetual Peace requires the thorough reorientation of mankind to a position where pure practical reason, morality, and law direct the behavior of mankind. As seen in chapter 3, Kant refers to the theorization of this alternative orientation as the product of a “higher anthropological vantage point.” This chapter investigates Kant’s anthropology in the light of this fundamental distinction between lower and higher anthropological vantage points, seeking to discover the extent to...

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Chapter 5. An “All-Unifying Church Triumphant!”

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pp. 121-137

This study has encompassed Kant’s representation of mankind and the developmental paths open to human beings and humanity in the critical, political, and anthropological works of Kant. In each case the nature of the relationship between man and God has emerged as a major theme, with mankind presented as working its way toward conformity with the divine will. Kant’s aim therefore is both political in the sense that it is concerned with political reform culminating in the establishment of perpetual peace, and theological in that it revolves...

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Conclusion: Believing in the Possibility of Salvation

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pp. 138-164

The foregoing chapters demonstrate the extent to which political-theological concerns permeate the fabric of Kant’s work in the critical philosophy and in those works in which he seeks to get to grips with the peculiar problem posed by human beings. The problem is one of human insufficiency: Can human beings, despite the limitations of their own powers of comprehension and less than perfect moral characters, be saved from political and social systems that are the product of prudential calculation of interest derived from what they...

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Epilogue: Kant and Contemporary Cosmopolitanism

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pp. 165-176

The challenge Kant poses to contemporary cosmopolitanism lies in the completeness of his theory’s integration of politics and morality. Kant’s position presents an intricate response to the is/ought problem raised by Hume in the above epigraph. Kant does not deny what “is,” but rather begins his account of the relationship between “is” and “ought” by placing what “is” in a new context. Kant argues that what “is” may be regarded as what appears to be. Political life is conducted by reference to the knowledge gained from the observation of...

Notes

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pp. 177-224

Bibliography

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pp. 225-240

Index

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pp. 241-254