Publicly Committed to the Good: The State of Nature and the Civil Condition in Right and in Ethics

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Stefano Lo Re
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1970-3577

Abstract

In Religion within the Bounds of Bare Reason Kant speaks of an ethical state of nature and of an ethico-civil condition, with explicit reference to the juridical state of nature and the juridico-civil condition he discusses at length in his legal-political writings. Given that the Religion is the only work where Kant introduces a parallel between these concepts, one might think that this is only a loose analogy, serving a merely illustrative function. The paper provides a first outline of the similarities and the differences between the state of nature and the civil condition in Right and in ethics. The comparison points to a deeper, structural relation between the two pairs of concepts. By doing so, it makes room for developing a unitary conception of the state of nature and of the civil condition, which would underlie both the ethical and the juridical version.

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LO RE, S. Publicly Committed to the Good: The State of Nature and the Civil Condition in Right and in Ethics. Diametros, v. 17, n. 65, p. 56-76, 20 Aug. 2020.
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