Kantian Journal

2014 Issue №2(48)

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Kant's philosophical ideas in Rober Nozik's political theory



Robert Nozik's political theory contains an attempt to utilize Kant's notion of individual freedom and the second formula of his categorical imperative (“the principle of humanity as an end in itself”) for the justification of his libertarian “minimal state”. This article analyses and criticizes this attempt on the following grounds: a) the anthropological models of Kant's and Nozik's theories are incommensurable; b) different notions of human nature result in different understandings of freedom — for Nozik it is the basic property of human nature, for Kant it is the result of entering the civil condition; c) the incommensurability of anthropological presuppositions and basic notions distorts the meaning of Kantian formula of categorical imperative when transplanted into an alien philosophical context.


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