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Concluding on Kant's "Perpetual Peace," plus Jurgen Habermas' "Kant's Idea of Perpetual Peace, with the Benefit of Two Hundred Years' Hindsight." Start with part one.
We talk about the two appendices to Kant's essay: first about "realpolitik," the idea that because other states will act immorally, then the wise politician must also act immorally. As you might predict, Kant disagrees with this.
In the full episodes, we explore the second appendix, which spells out one rule for detecting when foreign policy (or really any kind of law) is immoral, and it sounds a bit like Kant's categorical imperative: If you can't state your foreign policy out loud without that being self-defeating, then it's a bad policy. So you can't, for instance, enter into treaties with the intention of breaking them, because if that's your policy and you state it up front, then no one would enter into that treaty with you.
Finally, our returning host Seth summarizes the Habermas article, whereas Wes actually had to drop off the call near the end. Habermas has some wise things to say about Kant's various proposals given how history has turned out since Kant's time.
Paul D. Van Pelt says
Well. If there had been any positive feedback; peaceful outcomes; in the interim since Mr. Kant formulated his ideas on preventing war(s), I am pretty sure someone would have noticed and said something like: hey, this guy is on to something here! But, insofar as there were—continue to be—wars after Kant’s time, sometimes, most, in fact, great notions count for naught. Philosophy can be lauded for its efforts to help us try harder to think better and do the best we can with what we have and know. The same may be said for other disciplines, science included. Sadly, there remain reptilian brain characteristics in homo sapiens that appear to be stubbornly residual.. Maybe warring, as one survival mechanism, is a necessary destiny.