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Single Idea 21065

[catalogued under 25. Society / C. State of Nature / 4. Legal Rights / b. Alienating rights]

Full Idea

No one can voluntarily renounce his rights by a contract the effect that he has no rights but only duties, for such a contract would deprive him of the right to make a contract, and would thus invalidate the one he had already made.

Gist of Idea

You can't make a contract renouncing your right to make contracts!


Immanuel Kant (True in Theory, but not in Practice [1792], 2-2)

A Reaction

Kant tries to establish all of his principles by showing that their denial is contradictory. But this example is blatantly wrong. King Lear didn't nullify his previous legislation when he abdicated, and his two daughters legally kept their territories.

Book Reference

Kant,Immanuel: 'Political Writings', ed/tr. Reiss,Hans [CUP 1996], p.75