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Natura daedala rerum? On the justification of historical progress in Kant's guarantee of perpetual peace

By Lea Ypi


This article analyses the teleological argument justifying historical progress in Kant's Guarantee of Perpetual Peace. It starts by examining the controversies produced by Kant's claim that the teleology of nature supports the idea of a providential development of humanity towards moral progress and the possibility of achieving a cosmopolitan political constitution. It further illustrates how Kant's teleological argument in Perpetual Peace needs to be assessed with reference to two systematically relevant issues: first, the problem of coordination linked to the necessity of realizing the ‘highest good’ as a historical end of practical reason, and secondly the problem of continuity posed by the temporal limitation of all individual efforts to cultivate moral dispositions. To illustrate the implications of both issues for the teleological argument in Perpetual Peace, the article draws attention to some important developments in Kant's analysis of teleology following the Critique of Judgment

Topics: JC Political theory
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1017/S1369415400001497
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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