Kantian Journal

2018 Vol. 37. №1

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Kategorische Rechtsprinzipien in Zeiten der Postmoderne. Interview mit Prof. Dr Otfried Höffe



This interview explores the extent to which Kant’s philosophy, which postulates certain moral principles categorically, has influenced the contemporary theory of justice. Many academics believe such principles to be relative and emphasise that justice lies beyond the remit of science. Otfried Höffe is convinced that categorical legal principles remain a valid subject for an academic discussion. In his works, he often appeals to Kantian philosophy. In the interview, Prof. Dr. О. Höffe refers to such famous German Neo-Kantian philosophers of law as R. Stammler and G. Radbruch. He also mentions J. Rawls and J. Habermas — self-confessed adherents of the Kantian tradition in moral philosophy. Prof. Dr. Höffe expounds his views on the problems discussed by these authors. He dismisses G. W. F. Hegel’s criticism of Kant and denies the dependence of the fundamental principles of justice on the Zeitgeist and the opinions of the masses. The interviewee calls freedom the supreme human value, advocates the idea of a democratic constitutional state (he considers the principles of a social state as a mission of the state rather than a subjective right of citizens), and argues that dictatorship and tyranny deserve resistance. Prof. Dr. Höffe gives detailed definitions of the notions of transcendental exchange, categorical legal principles, enlightened liberal democracy, and a world republic. This interview will supplement the body of Prof. Dr. Höffe’s works that have already been translated into Russian.


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