On the Permissible Use of Force in a Kantian Dignitarian Moral and Political Setting, Or, Seven Kantian Samurai

On the supposition that one’s ethics and politics are fundamentally dignitarian in a broadly Kantian sense—as specifically opposed to identitarian and capitalist versions of Statism, e.g., neoliberal nation-States, whether democratic or non-democratic—hence fundamentally non-coercive and non-violent, then is self-defense or the defense of innocent others, using force, ever rationally justifiable and morally permissible or obligatory? We think that the answer to this hard question is yes; correspondingly, in this essay we develop and defend a theory about the permissible use of force in a broadly Kantian dignitarian moral and political setting, including its extension to non-violent civil disobedience in the tradition of Martin Luther King, Jr; and perhaps surprisingly, we also import several key insights from Samurai and Martial Arts ethics into our theory.

Article Type:
Research/Original Article
Philosophical Investigations, Volume:13 Issue:28, 2019
75 - 93
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