chapter  12
26 Pages

The Kantian Search for Unity

ByPeter Lomas

Immanuel Kant's social philosophy is all of a piece; his international theory is an essential part of his political theory, which emerges out of his moral philosophy, itself locked into his philosophy of science and "pure reason". Kant's theory of international relations was meant by him to be the culmination of his general moral theory. It argues that normative international theory, conceived as the "culmination" of Kant's moral philosophy, must be problematic and that our established methods of analysis will result in what Kimberly Hutchings calls a "morality/politics divide". Hutchings agrees with author claim that the "received wisdom" of international theory is an explanatory/normative "rigid separation". On a more damning plane, however, for social science and moral philosophy in general, Hutchings finds Kant's own work problematic—holistic in conception and aim, but in practice showing apparently unbridgeable divides. The most radical Kantian divide alleged by Kimberly Hutchings, between morality and metaphysics, arguably overarches all the others.