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Kant’s Political Legacy

Human Rights, Peace, Progress

Though Immanuel Kant wrote his seminal works more than two centuries ago, his philosophy still has much to offer us when we consider the problems we face today. Kant’s Political Legacy presents an informed and original reading of Kant’s work as applied to key questions relating to human rights, dignity, and respect on the individual level and the nature of democracy, security, peace, and political interactions at the national and international level. The result is a reading of Kant that could not be more timely, one that opens up countless new avenues of thought for grappling with some of the most pressing problems of our time.

320 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2017

Political Philosophy Now

Philosophy: Ethics, Political Philosophy

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"Readers of this journal are most interested in the historical side. Judging simply on that criterion, Carenti’s book is noteworthy. Stepping back to include his mastery of and contribution to contemporary debate makes the book even more valuable."

Journal of the History of Philosophy

"In his latest book, Luigi Caranti writes clearly and with insight not only about the legacy of Kant’s political philosophy, but also about our present political condition and the painful gap between the two. Arguing that Kant correctly interpreted can in fact offer better concrete guidance for political action in today’s world than many of his foes as well as friends realize, this is a work from which all thoughtful readers concerned with reducing injustice will benefit."

Robert B. Louden, University of Southern Maine

"Luigi Caranti demonstrates the importance of Kant’s political philosophy for today’s world.  His defense of Kant’s rigorous commitment to the principle of the supreme value of personal freedom, combined with his need for sensitivity in the application of this fundamental principle, should be a lesson not just for Kant scholars and political philosophers, but for politicians and citizens throughout the world."

Paul Guyer, Brown University

"Kant’s political thought, as contained in a series of books and essays from the 1780s and 1790s, combines a primarily juridical perspective on the norms of civic life with a focus on the conditions of political progress toward equal freedom. Luigi Caranti’s book on Kant’s lasting legacy in political philosophy builds on recent international scholarship in the field, while seeking to extend the appeal of Kant’s thinking to contemporary political issues and concerns. Concentrating on three central interrelated topics (human rights, world peace and political progress), Caranti manages to move Kantian political thought from the level of abstract principles to the sphere of concrete political precepts. In the process, Kant emerges as a significant resource for current political theory and practice."

Günter Zöller, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich

"To scholars of International Relations, this book is a veritable myth buster. Focusing on Immanuel Kant’s philosophy of human rights, peace and progress, Luigi Caranti tries to save Kant from flawed readings. He bridges two distinct literatures: contemporary political theory drawing on isolated and often misrepresented elements of Kant’s philosophy, and hermeneutical readings of Kant’s political philosophy that do not deal with contemporary political issues. . . . To critics of Western political thought, this provides a better starting point for debate than the typical representations of Kant and his compatriots in the fields of IR and political science."

Journal of Peace Research

Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations
Part I: Human Rights
1 Kant’s Theory of Human Rights
2 Human Rights: the Contemporary Debate
3 The Foundation of Human Rights: The Dignity Approach
Part II: Peace
4 The Kantian Model
5 Democratic Peace Theory
6 The Two Models Compared
Part III: Progress
7 Kant’s Early Teleology in Idea
8 To Perpetual Peace: A Secular Guarantee of Progress?
9 Progress and Political Agency

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