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Single Idea 21084

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

Full Idea

By the original contract all members of the people give up their external freedom in order to receive it back at once as members of a commonweath.

Gist of Idea

In the contract people lose their rights, but immediately regain them, in the new commonwealth

Source

Immanuel Kant (Metaphysics of Morals I: Doctrine of Right [1797], 47)

A Reaction

This tries to give the impression that absolutely nothing is lost in the original alienation of rights. It is probably better to say that you give up one set of freedoms, which are replaced by a different (and presumably superior) set.

Book Reference

Kant,Immanuel: 'Political Writings', ed/tr. Reiss,Hans [CUP 1996], p.140