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Full Access “Hobbes Is of the Opposite Opinion” Kant and Hobbes on the Three Authorities in the State

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“Hobbes Is of the Opposite Opinion” Kant and Hobbes on the Three Authorities in the State

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Like Hobbes and unlike Locke, Kant denied the possibility of a right to rebellion. But unlike Hobbes, Kant did not argue for a unitary head of state in whom legislative, judicial, and executive powers are inseparable, and thus did not believe that the executive power in a state to whom must be conceded a monopoly of coercion also defines all rights in the state. Instead, Kant insisted upon the necessary division of authority in a state into a separate legislature, executive, and judiciary, and thus, while rejecting the idea that a people could ever rightfully overthrow their entire constitution or government, he could and did hold that a people represented by a parliament have genuine rights against the executive power within their state even though that executive power properly has a monopoly on the coercive enforcement of the parliament's laws.

Affiliations: 1: Professor of Philosophy and Florence R.C. Murray Professor in the Humanities, Department of Philosophy, 433 Claudia Cohen Hall, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6304, E-mail: pguyer@sas.upenn.edu

10.1163/187502512X639623
/content/journals/10.1163/187502512x639623
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Like Hobbes and unlike Locke, Kant denied the possibility of a right to rebellion. But unlike Hobbes, Kant did not argue for a unitary head of state in whom legislative, judicial, and executive powers are inseparable, and thus did not believe that the executive power in a state to whom must be conceded a monopoly of coercion also defines all rights in the state. Instead, Kant insisted upon the necessary division of authority in a state into a separate legislature, executive, and judiciary, and thus, while rejecting the idea that a people could ever rightfully overthrow their entire constitution or government, he could and did hold that a people represented by a parliament have genuine rights against the executive power within their state even though that executive power properly has a monopoly on the coercive enforcement of the parliament's laws.

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/content/journals/10.1163/187502512x639623
2012-01-01
2017-02-26

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