Published online by Cambridge University Press: 24 February 2020
This chapter explores the parallels between the critique of pure reason and the establishment of a civil condition in natural right theory. It shows how Kant’s conception of laws is ingrained in an extensive legal framework by focusing on two images, the one portraying the critique as the tribunal of reason and the other depicting the critique as the establishment of a rightful condition which is analogous to the establishment of a civil state. These images show that Kant’s account of a priori laws is not merely a colourful way of expressing a new philosophical approach; he is building an entire framework around a legal structure. In addition, the state of nature metaphor shows how the critique aims to provide a procedure for ending conflicts in metaphysics and thereby establish perpetual peace in philosophy.
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