Kant’s Justification of Welfare

Main Article Content

Sorin Baiasu

Abstract

For several decades, theorists interested in Kant’s discussion of welfare have puzzled over Kant’s position on the issue of the redistribution of goods in society. They have done this both in order to clarify his position and as a source of inspiration for current conceptual problems faced by contemporary political philosophers who attempt to reconcile the ideal of equal freedom with the asymmetric interference necessary for redistribution and social provision.In this paper, I start with Kant’s brief discussion of welfare in Rechtslehre and I identify four claims that Kant clearly asserts as characteristic for his view. I then outline five main interpretative directions in the literature, I evaluate and rank them. The most accurate view of Kant’s justification of welfare, which I call the “genuinely Kantian” position is, however, unable to explain the nature of the duty of welfare that it asserts. By going back to Kant’s text, I suggest one solution. This solution, together with some further questions, can be seen as initiating a new interpretative direction in the literature.

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How to Cite
Baiasu, Sorin. 2014. “Kant’s Justification of Welfare”. Diametros, no. 39 (March):1-28. https://doi.org/10.13153/diam.39.2014.563.
Section
Special topic – Kant’s Moral Philosophy and Contemporary Practical Ethics
Author Biography

Sorin Baiasu, Keele University, University of Vienna

Dr. Sorin BaiasuReader in PhilosophyKeele University, UKGuest Research ProfessorERC ForschungsstellePhilosophy DepartmentUniversity of ViennaEbendorferstrasse 10/131010 Wien, Austriaemails: s.baiasu@keele.ac.uksorin.baiasu@univie.ac.atSorin Baiasu is Reader in Philosophy at Keele University (UK) and Guest Research Professor at the University of Vienna (Austria). He is the author of Kant and Sartre: Re-discovering Critical Ethics (Palgrave Macmillan 2011), co-editor of Politics and Metaphysics in Kant (University of Wales Press 2011), Kant on Practical Justification: Interpretative Essays (OUP 2013), Kantian Sincerity in Politics and International Relations (Routledge 2014 Forthcoming), The Kantian Mind (Routledge 2015 Forthcoming), as well as editor of Comparing Kant and Sartre (Palgrave Macmillan 2014 Forthcoming). He has edited several special issues of journals and published many studies on Kant. In addition, he is the Principal Investigator for the Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship for Career Development with the title "A Kantian Approach to Current Tensions Between Legal Obligations and Religious Commitments".
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