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Whence honeste vive?

Davies, Luke ORCID: 0000-0002-7730-0023 (2020) Whence honeste vive? European Journal of Philosophy. ISSN 0966-8373

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Identification Number: 10.1111/ejop.12572


Kant's characterisation of honeste vive as an unenforceable duty of right owed to oneself poses two systematic problems: it conflicts with Kant's claims that (a) duties of right concern the external relation between distinct individuals and (b) duties of right are externally enforceable. Both of these claims speak against the possibility of a duty of right to oneself. This article addresses this interpretative problem. Regarding (a) I suggest that while honeste vive is a duty owed to oneself, the content of the duty concerns one's interaction with others. Regarding (b) I maintain that honeste vive is a general duty of right, and such duties are not externally enforceable. This view both allows for an understanding of the structure of obligation in the Doctrine of Right as a whole and forces us to reconsider two central aspects of Kant's concept of right—namely, that all rights are externally enforceable and owed to others. Not only does honeste vive belong to the Doctrine of Right but understanding the way in which it does can illuminate the significance and scope of duties belonging to Kant's political philosophy.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 The Author
Divisions: Government
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2020 13:42
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2024 06:06

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