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Oxford University Press
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Kant’s treatment of war is usually discussed as part of his political philosophy or philosophy of history. In contrast, this essay locates these discussions in direct reference to major elements of his moral philosophy: autonomy, the categorical imperative, and the moral relationality of the kingdom of ends. Within this context, Kant’s account of war, particularly in writings from the 1790s, can be read as affirming war as morally unintelligible: It is the expression of a collective withdrawal from the constitutive relationality of moral community. This results in a radical disparity in the exercise of moral autonomy by the sovereign agency of the state with respect to peace, on one hand, and with respect to war, on the other.
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