Ethics and politics by Immanuel Kant
He is considered as the father of the idealist thought, was born in a middle class family at Konigsberg in Germany in 1724. His mother left a profound effect on him and she was very religious lady. After completing his studies he joined as instructor first, later he became the professor at the University of Konigsberg. He was greatly influenced by Rousseau and Montesquieu. He was very much fascinated by Rousseau and studied Emile with excessive devotion. He kept a bust of this great philosopher in his study room with great respect. He accepts Rousseau’s impact on him and said that, “Rousseau set me right…. I learnt to respect human nature, and I should consider myself for mere useless than the ordinary working man if I did not believe that this view could give worth to all others to establish the right man”.
About the influence of Montesquieu and Rousseau on Kant, Dunning says “His (Kant’s) Doctrine as to the basis and the nature of the state is purely Rousseau’s put into the grab of Kantian terminology, his analysis of the government follows Montesquieu in the like manner”.
The most important works in which he articulated his ideas which includes, the Critique of Pure Reason in 1781; The Critique of Practical Reason in 1788; Perpetual Peace in 1795; The Principles of Political Rights in 1796, and First Metaphysical Principles of the Theory of Law in 1796. It may be well-known that, Kant exhibited more interest in analysis of the fundamental concepts than questions of practical politics.
Immanuel Kant Ethics and Politics:
The Kant’s understanding a tendency to conflate virtue and right to read Kant’s ethics as moral theory in which we co-legislate virtue, and to read Kant’s political philosophy as one, in which we co-legislate principles of justice. Contrary to this, scholars have claimed that Kant’s ethics is an ethics of self–legislation, and that his theory of right is a theory of external legislation. More precisely, are subject to the demands of justice, others lawfully mark upon us whether or not we approve with these demands. Accord and co-legislation are immaterial in Kant’s political morality. Political obligation is unconditional, we cannot form political obligation by mutual agreement. We are under obligations of justice concerning one another.
Kant’s political morality is of external legislation. This is specified by the removal of reference to ‘maxims’ from the universal principle of right. A morally good saying reproduces an agent’s internal resolve to act in agreement with the necessities of duty. A person so acts, independently and self-ruling person is a person who possesses inner freedom. Kant’s political philosophy by contrast, is worried with morality of outer freedom; more specially, with mutual salutation of one another’s valid prerogatives of freedom of choice and action. According to universal principle of right, any action is right if it can co-exist with everyone’s freedom in agreement with universal law, or if on its maxim the freedom of choice of each can coincide with everyone’s freedom in harmony with a universal law.
The relation between the communities can be said or termed as politics, and the pact among the political bodies can be defined as peace and it is utmost needed among the political activities and bodies. Peace presents a severe problem of representation, we have to depend other approaches to deal to get the political good like aesthetics, ethics and religion. These modes can gives itself the creation of political objects.
Ethics helps to exemplify our need for political way and relation in individual human beings. Political leaders grip out to citizens the hope of a strong nation, or of obvious political destiny, but we see them in ethical terms as courageous, honorable, and loving (or in aesthetic terms as charismatic, graceful, and handsome). Factually, communities have been unite to link political organizations, whereas our leaders shake hands, embrace, kiss, and exchange smiles to much fanfare. Ethics comes to liberate and repair the slit in our thoughts of politics. For friendship an ethical image, even though strongly combined into the custom of political science.
The performance of assigning the best conceivable purpose to others is respected because it withstands admiration and self-respect and makes conceivable moral perfection. In the act of approving caring, respecting others, even their faults and mistakes, it turn out to be possible for them to endeavor for their better characters. No one can trusts that these activities of respect are morally required, and admits that care ethics like deontological ethics speaks of obligation. This obligation to assess others’ actions in the best conceivable way of concerning and gentle for them and promotion of such action would lead the moral enhancement of others.
This compulsion is not exceptional to care ethics; Kant shares the view that there is a need for ethical necessity to esteem others and overseeing their errors and mistakes. These actions would create potential moral development. Kant’s ethics, just like Noddings’ care ethics, reflects our obligation to assign the best thinkable motivations to others. For both, this action follows from our respect for others and it functions to make possible the moral improvement of others, Kant’s ethics is rational.
Kant makes a vital improvement in accepting of the parameters of political representation when he notices the incapability of individuals to realize freedom. It is factual that he defines this limitation as a problem of thought rather than imagination: that is, since reasoning cannot relate to metaphysical objects such as freedom in its own terms, it requires a leap of faith via the imagination to conceptualize a mode of relation beyond itself. But if alike restriction stand up in the case of political imagination, if individual held flops to deliver an objective representation of community, this would mean that Kant’s remarks about liberty—which is after all the concept stimulating in his philosophy with bearing the weight of individualism comparative to the necessities of social presence are in fact a admission that human beings cannot imagine the political relation at all.
The thoughts of ethical goodness would seem to be further difficult, the ethical good objects at the representation of a person in whom we imagine character. He explains that ethics needs aesthetics of morals to make it reachable to human understanding. The artistic part of ethics lies specifically in the enormous gap between our accepting of what character is and our capability to complete the approved actions that will build or isometrics it.
Kant secondary feeling to object, he asserted that only acts done out of duty to carefully logical principle are morally well-intentioned. Love, feeling, and character are all imaginary by Kant to be unreliable. An ethic of care upsets this importance. The favored state is natural caring; ethical caring is raised to bring back it. This reversal of priority is one great difference between Kant’s ethics and an ethic of care. Another difference is attached in feminist viewpoints, an ethic of care is methodically interactive…A relational understanding of caring drives us to look not only at moral agents but also at the receivers of their acts and the conditions under which the parties interact.
Importance of Individual:
Kant devoted great significance to the prominence to the individual in his political thought and declared that an individual was an end in himself and should not be treated as a means to an end. The individual should not aim at specific compensations or satisfactions but at those ends which are of universal application. He should have thirst for individual freedom and equality and should not ready to sacrifice them at the altar of the state. He was in favour of subordination of the individual liberty infavour of the greater requirements of the society.
Immanuel Kant Views on Social Contract:
Kant at no time used it to elucidate the basis of the state but acknowledged the concept of social contract. He used social contact to show the requisite nature of relationship between the government and the people. He pronounces by the contract “surrender their eternal freedom in order to receive it immediately back again as members of a common wealth”.
Immanuel Kant Views on Rights and Duties:
Kant provided great importance on the rights and duties of individuals. He defined right as “the limitation of the freedom of any individual to the extent of its agreement with the freedom of all other individuals in so far as this is possible by a universal law”. Rights are formed by the state and the only original right have its place to every man in virtue of his humanity is freedom. To him duties of the state are more important than rights.
Immanuel Kant Views on Sphere of State Activity:
As an individualist, Kant did not favour allowance of widespread powers to the state. He did not deliberate it, duty of the state to indorse moral freedom and wanted the state purely to hinder the hindrances of freedom and to launch social condition of “outward order in which truly moral acts may gradually evolve a kingdom of Humanity”.
Immanuel Kant on Right to Revolution:
Kant does not admit to the individual the right to rebellion against the state because the being of the state was essential for the normal growth of the individual takeover and implementation of the sovereign was sin for which men could not be excused in this or the next world.
Immanuel Kant Views on Forms of Government:
Kant foresaw three forms of states like autocracy, aristocracy and democracy and two forms of governments like Republican and Despotic. He thought that only representative form government was rational. According to him the king, the dignity of the elected deputies could act as representatives. He separated tasks of the state on the customary pattern as Legislative, Executive and Judicial and he considered that for satisfaction of freedom are need to have legislative and executive functions.
Immanuel Kant Views on World Peace:
Kant was an inordinate promoter of universal peace. He said that states like men, are quarrelsome and jealous by nature. They fight for the expansion of boundaries. Even during times of peace, they make arrangements for defense which was as troublesome and damaging of internal welfare as war itself. According to Kant the republican states are more favorable to world peace because the governments rest on, the will of the people and can wage war only with their consent. He said that existence of popular sovereignty in the midst of the family of states is dynamic for world peace because in its absenteeism the nations could make their own pronouncements on peace or war and can jeopardize the world peace. Kant’s idea of world peace was not grounded upon Christian love but upon law