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Single Idea 21082

[catalogued under 25. Society / A. State of Nature / 4. Natural Rights / a. Natural rights]

Full Idea

The state of nature need not be a state of injustice merely because those who live in it treat one another in terms of power. But it is devoid of justice, for if a dispute over right occurs in it, there is no competent judge to give valid decisions.

Gist of Idea

A power-based state of nature may not be unjust, but there is no justice without competent judges

Source

Immanuel Kant (Metaphysics of Morals I: Doctrine of Right [1797], 44)

A Reaction

Could you not achieve justice by means of personal violence? Might not a revered older person have been accepted as a judge?

Book Reference

Kant,Immanuel: 'Political Writings', ed/tr. Reiss,Hans [CUP 1996], p.137