KANT’S JURISPRUDENCE: beyond natural law and legal positivism

1/2018, [:it]giugno[:en]June[:] ISBN: 978-88-31928-37-3pp. 95 - 119 DOI: 10.19280/P2018-1-006


Kant’s conception of private right should be categorized in ways that go beyond the contemporary alternatives of legal positivism and natural law theory. Instead of conceiving of private right in terms of pre-institutional (natural) rights, the distinctively Kantian proto-legal normativity in the state of nature is constituted by unconditional hypothetical principles of the following form: If and only if (and once) we find ourselves in a rightful condition of positive law, then we should establish a regime incorporating innate and acquired rights. These principles, as opposed to the particular private-rights-claims that they refer to in their consequents, normatively “constrain” interaction in the state of nature. One objection to my proposal is that the necessity to exit the state of nature cannot be vindicated when all private rights (innate as well as acquired) are present in the state of nature merely in a hypothetical and conditional form. Instead of seeking an alternative Archimedean point for establishing the non-optionality of entering a rightful condition, my response to this objection reinterprets the antecedent’s inescapability along Axel Honneth’s Hegel-inspired method of “normative reconstruction”. Ultimately, the normative authority of the hypothetical principles’ consequents (i.e., the specific private-right-requirements à la Kant) is sourced within the institutions and practices of citizens who are always already entangled in the process of realizing a rightful condition.

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Hanisch, Christoph . "KANT’S JURISPRUDENCE: beyond natural law and legal positivism". Pólemos XI. 1. (2018): 95-119 https://www.rivistapolemos.it/kants-jurisprudence-beyond-natural-law-and-legal-positivism/?lang=en
Hanisch, C. (2018). "KANT’S JURISPRUDENCE: beyond natural law and legal positivism". Pólemos XI. (1). 95-119 https://www.rivistapolemos.it/kants-jurisprudence-beyond-natural-law-and-legal-positivism/?lang=en
Hanisch, Christoph . 2018. "KANT’S JURISPRUDENCE: beyond natural law and legal positivism". Pólemos XI (1). Donzelli Editore: 95-119. https://www.rivistapolemos.it/kants-jurisprudence-beyond-natural-law-and-legal-positivism/?lang=en




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