Kant's Critique of Hobbes: Sovereignty and Cosmopolitanism (Political Philosophy Now S.)

Kant's Critique of Hobbes: Sovereignty and Cosmopolitanism (Political Philosophy Now S.)

By: Howard Williams (author)Paperback

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In "Leviathan" (1651), Thomas Hobbes lays out the theoretical basis of the Westphalian Order - dominant in European politics from the treaty of Westphalia in 1648 until the end of World War II - in which sovereign and absolutist national states compete against each other for power and influence. In opposition to Hobbes, Immanuel Kant develops a theory of cosmopolitan right in which state sovereignty is matched with a gradually developing world federation of peaceful states. Similarly, Kant opposes Hobbes's self-centred moral theory with a moral theory which is based on self and the community. This study looks at the relationship between the two thinkers. It demonstrates the viable alternative to Hobbes' orthodoxy that can be found in Kant's political writings. It also shows how Kant anticipates the development of a world-wide political order and suggests that through Kant's political philosophy, the sovereignty of the individual state and cosmopolitanism (world-citizenship) can be brought into agreement.

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About Author

Howard Williams is Professor in International Politics at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth and the general editor of the Political Philosophy Now series. He is the author of many books and articles, including Kant's Political Philosophy (1983), Concepts of Ideology (1988), International Relations and the Limits of Political Theory (1996) and Francis Fukuyama and the End of History (with D. Sullivan and G. Matthews, 1997).


1. Introduction: Kant and Hobbes; 2. Revolution and Civil War in Kant and Hobbes; 3. Christian Garve, Kant and the German Enlightenment; 4. Liberty in Kant and Hobbes; 5. Hobbesian equality and Kant's theory of equality; 6. Independence and Citizenship in Kant and Hobbes; 7. Political Change in Kant; 8. Perpetual Peace as a Response to Hobbes's political philosophy; 9. Conclusion

Product Details

  • publication date: 30/07/2003
  • ISBN13: 9780708318140
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 208
  • ID: 9780708318140
  • weight: 372
  • ISBN10: 0708318142

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