The Philosophy of Law: An Exposition of the Fundamental Principles of Jurisprudence as the Science of Right

The Philosophy of Law: An Exposition of the Fundamental Principles of Jurisprudence as the Science of Right

by Immanuel Kant
     
 

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An excerpt from the beginning of the Translator's Preface:

Kant’sScience of Right is a complete exposition of the Philosophy of Law, viewed as a rational investigation of the fundamental Principles of Jurisprudence. It was published in 1796, as the First Part of his Metaphysic of Morals, the promised sequel and completion of the Foundation for a…  See more details below

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An excerpt from the beginning of the Translator's Preface:

Kant’sScience of Right is a complete exposition of the Philosophy of Law, viewed as a rational investigation of the fundamental Principles of Jurisprudence. It was published in 1796, as the First Part of his Metaphysic of Morals, the promised sequel and completion of the Foundation for a Metaphysic of Morals,4 published in 1785. The importance and value of the great thinker’s exposition of the Science of Right, both as regards the fundamental Principles of his own Practical Philosophy and the general interest of the Philosophy of Law, were at once recognised. A second Edition, enlarged by an Appendix, containing Supplementary Explanations of the Principles of Right, appeared in 1798. The work has since then been several times reproduced by itself, as well as incorporated in all the complete editions of Kant’s Works. It was immediately rendered into Latin by Born in 1798, and again by König in 1800. It was translated into French by Professor Tissot in 1837, of which translation a second revised Edition has appeared. It was again translated into French by M. Barni, preceded by an elaborate analytical introduction, in 1853. With the exception of the Preface and Introductions, the work now appears translated into English for the first time.

Kant’s Science of Right was his last great work of an independent kind in the department of pure Philosophy, and with it he virtually brought his activity as a master of thought to a close. It fittingly crowned the rich practical period of his later philosophical teaching, and he shed into it the last effort of his energy of thought. Full of years and honours he was then deliberately engaged, in the calm of undisturbed and unwearied reflection, in gathering the finally matured fruit of all the meditation and learning of his life. His three immortal Critiques of the Pure Reason (1781), the Practical Reason (1788), and the Judgment (1790), had unfolded all the theoretical Principles of his Critical Philosophy, and established his claim to be recognised as at once the most profound and the most original thinker of the modern world. And as the experience of life deepened around and within him, towards the sunset, his interest had been more and more absorbed and concentrated in the Practical. For to him, as to all great and comprehensive thinkers, Philosophy has only its beginning in the theoretical explanation of things; its chief end is the rational organization and animation and guidance of the higher life in which all things culminate. Kant had carried with him through all his struggle and toil of thought, the cardinal faith in God, Freedom, and Immortality, as an inalienable possession of Reason, and he had beheld the human Personality transfigured and glorified in the Divine radiance of the primal Ideas. But he had further to contemplate the common life of Humanity in its varied ongoings and activities, rising with the innate right of mastery from the bosom of Nature and asserting its lordship in the arena of the mighty world that it incessantly struggles to appropriate and subdue to itself. In the natural chaos and conflict of the social life of man, as presented in the multitudinous and ever-changing mass of the historic organism, he had also to search out the Principles of order and form, to vindicate the rationality of the ineradicable belief in human Causation, and to quicken anew the lively hope of a higher issue of History. The age of the Revolution called and inspired him to his task. With keen vision he saw a new world suddenly born before him, as the blood-stained product of a motion long toiling in the gloom, and all old things thus passing away; and he knew that it was only the pure and the practical Reason, in that inmost union which constitutes the birthright of Freedom, that could regulate and harmonize the future order of this strongest offspring of time. And if it was not given to him to work out the whole cycle of the new rational ideas, he at least touched upon them all, and he has embodied the cardinal Principle of the System in his Science of Right as the philosophical Magna Charta of the age of political Reason and the permanent foundation of all true Philosophy of Law.

Thus produced, Kant’s Science of Right constituted an epoch in jural speculation, and it has commanded the homage of the greatest thinkers since. Fichte, with characteristic ardour and with eagle vision, threw his whole energy of soul into the rational problem of Right, and if not without a glance of scorn at the sober limitations of the ‘old Lectures’ of the aged professor, he yet acknowledges in his own more aerial flight the initial safety of this more practical guidance. In those early days of eager search and high aspiration, Hegel, stirred to the depths by Kant, and Fichte, and Schelling, wrote his profound and powerful essay...

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940015521702
Publisher:
OGB
Publication date:
10/20/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
745 KB

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