Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Höffe I 314
International Law/Kant/Höffe: In his writing On Eternal Peace (1) Kant assumes that states are "judged as individual human beings".
Relations between states: Consequently, the same answers are to be expected for interstate relations as for domestic relations. According to the general legal principle of jurisprudence, state-individuals are allowed to do for themselves what they want - provided that their actions can coexist with those of all other state-individuals according to a general law.
Höffe: This authority amounts to a new kind of quasi-human
Höffe I 315
right, one might call it a quasi-human right of states. It consists essentially of two tasks under international law, the protection of property, here: the territorial integrity of a community, and its right to political and cultural self-determination.
International treaty: [To achieve this] a global community of peace is required. This is created by a treaty among the peoples and has to end all wars forever.
It is true, Kant concedes, that a world republic is needed along the lines of domestic peacekeeping. But because the states do not accept the necessary renunciations of sovereignty, he is content with a "negative surrogate," a League of Nations that is expanding more and more. Sceptical of a world republic, the peace treaty does not advocate a world legal order. >Cosmopolitanism/Kant.
Höffe I 318
Aftermath: Thoughts of Kant's peace writing influence the first global association of states for securing world peace and developing international cooperation, the League of Nations (1920-1946), and also
Höffe I 319
the new foundation as United Nations. Human dignity, which plays a major role in their charter, essentially follows Kant's understanding of human dignity. Moreover, Kant's understanding extends into many national and international political debates, not least in court decisions of the highest courts not only in Germany, namely the constitutional courts.


1. Kant, Zum ewigen Frieden, 1795


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
I. Kant
I Günter Schulte Kant Einführung (Campus) Frankfurt 1994
Externe Quellen. ZEIT-Artikel 11/02 (Ludger Heidbrink über Rawls)
Volker Gerhard "Die Frucht der Freiheit" Plädoyer für die Stammzellforschung ZEIT 27.11.03
Höffe I
Otfried Höffe
Geschichte des politischen Denkens München 2016


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2021-01-23
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