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Kant, Ripstein and the circle of freedom: a critical note

Valentini, Laura (2012) Kant, Ripstein and the circle of freedom: a critical note. European Journal of Philosophy, 20 (3). pp. 450-459. ISSN 0966-8373

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Identification Number: 10.1111/j.1468-0378.2012.00554.x

Abstract

Much contemporary political philosophy claims to be Kant-inspired, but its aims and method differ from Kant's own. In his recent book, Force and Freedom, Arthur Ripstein advocates a more orthodox Kantian outlook, presenting it as superior to dominant (Kant-inspired) views. The most striking feature of this outlook is its attempt to ground the whole of political morality in one right: the right to freedom, understood as the right to be independent of others’ choices. Is Ripstein's Kantian project successful? In this research note I argue that it is not. First, I suggest that Ripstein's notion of freedom is viciously circular. It is meant to ground all rights, but in fact it presupposes an account of those rights. Second, I show that—independently of its inability to ground a whole political morality—such a moralized understanding of freedom is normatively unappealing.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(IS...
Additional Information: © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Divisions: Government
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Sets: Departments > Government
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2015 14:42
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2019 10:23
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/63690

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