XI KANT KONGRESS, XI Congresso Kantiano Internazionale

Fichte’s Critical Reappraisal of Kant’s Cosmopolitanism

David Neil James

Edificio: Palazzo dei Congressi
Sala: sala Diderot
Data: 23 maggio 2010 - 14:30
Ultima modifica: 13 aprile 2010


I argue that while in the Foundations of Natural Right Fichte adopts a theory of cosmopolitan right that is in some important respects formally identical to the one offered by Kant, he later came to reassess his earlier Kantian cosmopolitanism in The Closed Commercial State. The latter can in fact be seen to identify a limitation to Kant’s cosmopolitanism, namely, Kant’s failure to recognize the possibility of an indirect form of coercion based on unequal relations of economic dependence, or else, given the fact that he elsewhere seems to accept such relations as something given, his uncritical acceptance of this type of relation. Fichte’s awareness of this possibility in turn leads him to offer a solution to the problems it raises: the severing of all commercial relations with other states.