Dissertation > Political, legal > Political Theory > Theory of scientific socialism ( Zonglun )

Kant's political philosophy inquiry

Author YinNa
Tutor WenChunRu
School Anhui University
Course Foreign Philosophy
Keywords Political Philosophy Kant Political reform Political freedom Metaphysics of Morals Moral and political Essence of freedom Freedom and order German classical philosophy Rights and powers
CLC D0-06
Type Master's thesis
Year 2003
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The study of political philosophy could direct the realistic political action in a right way by influencing people’s political ideas and behaviours. However, insufficient attention has been paid to this issue, especially to western political philosophy. Urgent need for political philosophy is apparent for China in the transitional period because of its political system reform. In order to realize the rule-of-law in China, it is important to refer to the thought of western political philosophy and at a great rate to follow the western way of thinking and developing. It is the reason why I choose Kant’s political philosophy as my topic.There are four chapters in this dissertation. Chapter one expounds the source of Kant’s political philosophy, mainly about the theory of natural law and contract of society of modern age, about the political philosophy of Hobbes^ Locke > Montesquieu and Rousseau. These theories played an important role in the forming of Kant’s political philosophy.Chapter two expounds the theoritical basis of Kant’s political philosophy, such as categorical imperative > good wilK will self-discipline. It also expounds Kant’s opinion on the relation between ethics and politics ^ ethics and law. Politics and law are the application of ethics, and both have to comply with the categorical imperative.Chapter three expounds the main content of Kant’s political philosophy, mainly about Kant’s ideas about freedorrK law> country and peace. In Kant’s opinion, will-free is the essence of freedom, and human rights are its realization. The external freedom has two kinds: individual freedom and political liberty. Law can be called rights, which means the freedom of all men could coexist. The value of law is the ?realization and protection of freedom, and it is necessary to govern a country by law. An ideal country is the republic characterized by power-sharing and rule-of-law. This kind of state originates from the contract of society, based on the rational principles of freedom > equality and independence. In the end, wars among countries will be eradicated and the ideal of perpetual peace will come true.Chapter four deals with the influence and significance of Kant’s political philosophy. On one hand, Kant’s thought influences the political philosophy of Fichte and Hegel, and the new-liberalism of the contemporary west. On the other, Kant’s thought shows great value in the movements of German liberalism and the union of Europe. In the last part, it is pointed out that Kant’s emphasis on individual rights N supremacy of law and power-sharing greatly enlightens the building of legal country in China, being a great reference to Chinese political system reform.

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