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Title: Kant on Non-Linear Progress
Authors: Møller, Sophie
Keywords: Immanuel Kantpolitical philosophyprogressregressionperpetual peace
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: Sophie Møller, "Kant on Non-Linear Progress" in: "Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2021) XXIII/2", EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, Trieste, 2021, pp. 127-147
Journal: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics 
Kant’s account of progress is often mistakenly portrayed as a steady movement toward realizing the highest political good. In this paper, I show that we also need to take non-linear progress into account. What exactly the highest political good is and whether it is realizable is a separate, complicated question, which I leave aside in this paper. Instead, I focus on whether and how political agents can be motivated by a belief in progress even in times when such a belief might seem unwarranted. My main concern is the following question: Is regression in terms of realizing our ideals a reason to abandon a belief in a Kantian account of political progress? As part of my answer to this question, I consider the relationship between Kant’s account of a guarantee of perpetual peace in the Treaty essay of the same name and his later reference to a historical sign in the Conflict of the Faculties. The paper considers how Kant’s account of progress allows us to confront apparent moments of regression within a substantive account of progress and a robust notion of what the realization of a political ideal would look like. I focus on how an individual in a Kantian account might be motivated by the idea of political progress and how his non-linear account of progress helps the agent to be further motivated to promote political change in situations of apparent regression.
Type: Article
ISSN: 1825-5167
DOI: 10.13137/1825-5167/32377
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 Internazionale
Appears in Collections:Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2021) XXIII/2

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