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Peace and War in Moses Maimonides and Immanuel Kant: A Comparative Study

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Abstract Francesca Y. Albertini (1974–2011) compares Maimonides’ idea of peace, as developed in MT Sefer shofetim (Book of Judges), with Kant’s work on the notion of “eternal peace” (Zum ewigen Frieden). Both authors develop a historical vision pointed against the use of force and war in light of a framework not limited by historical time (messianic age, eternity). Despite all differences in method and historical context, the authors agree on the notion that universal ethics provides the basis of a determination of right grounded in the will. Maimonides’ universal messianism as well as Kant’s universal history emphasize the pivotal role and decisive responsibility of the human being in realizing, through reason, the reign of peace and prosperity on earth first envisioned by the biblical prophets. These utopias continue to challenge us, especially in this day and age.

Affiliations: 1: University of PotsdamContact wiedebach@access.uzh.ch

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