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Full Access Natural Right in Hobbes and Kant

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Natural Right in Hobbes and Kant

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Both Hobbes and Kant tackle the issue of natural right in a radical and controversial way. They both present systematic, secular theories of natural law in a highly religious age. Whereas Hobbes transforms natural right by placing the rational individual bent on self-preservation at the centre of political philosophy, Kant transforms natural right by putting the metaphysical presuppositions of his critical philosophy at the heart of his reasoning on politics. Neither attempts to provide an orthodox view of natural right as directly or indirectly derived from God’s commands, although subsequent to their philosophical deduction as natural rights or laws both do not entirely repudiate the idea that these rights or laws can be portrayed as having divine support.

Affiliations: 1: Professor in Political Theory Department of International Politics, Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth SY23 3FE, UK, hlw@aber.ac.uk

10.1163/187502512X639614
/content/journals/10.1163/187502512x639614
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Both Hobbes and Kant tackle the issue of natural right in a radical and controversial way. They both present systematic, secular theories of natural law in a highly religious age. Whereas Hobbes transforms natural right by placing the rational individual bent on self-preservation at the centre of political philosophy, Kant transforms natural right by putting the metaphysical presuppositions of his critical philosophy at the heart of his reasoning on politics. Neither attempts to provide an orthodox view of natural right as directly or indirectly derived from God’s commands, although subsequent to their philosophical deduction as natural rights or laws both do not entirely repudiate the idea that these rights or laws can be portrayed as having divine support.

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/content/journals/10.1163/187502512x639614
2012-01-01
2016-12-11

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