more from Immanuel Kant

Single Idea 21063

[catalogued under 24. Political Theory / B. Nature of a State / 2. State Legitimacy / c. Social contract]

Full Idea

In all social contracts, we find a union of many individuals for some common end which they all share. But a union as an end in itself which they all ought to share …is only found in a society insofar as it constitutes a civil state i.e. a commonwealth.

Gist of Idea

Personal contracts are for some end, but a civil state contract involves a duty to share


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

Book Reference

Kant,Immanuel: 'Political Writings', ed/tr. Reiss,Hans [CUP 1996], p.73

A Reaction

This makes a nice link between the contractarian individual morality of Hobbes and his social contract view of society. Kant seems to reject the first but accept the second. Presumably because the first implies benefit and the second implies duty.