Non-State Peoples and Cosmopolitan Exit From the State of Nature


  • Stefano LO RE University of St Andrews



State of Nature, Cosmopolitanism, Non-State Peoples


Non-state peoples cannot be subjects of Kant’s international law, which accordingly affords them no protection against external interference. They might also lack the dynamic of private law at the basis of the duty of state entrance. Prima facie, this compels Kant to allow that their lands be appropriated and that they be forced out of the state of nature. But this conclusion is at odds with his cosmopolitanism, particularly its anti-imperialistic commitments: non-state peoples are protected against annexation, under Kant’s cosmopolitan law. The paper makes three contributions to the debate on this tension. Firstly, it disambiguates scope, ground, and relata of the duty to exit the state of nature. Secondly, it argues that non-state peoples have an inter-group duty to exit the state of nature; and that this holds for a non-state people regardless of whether it also has an intra-group duty of state entrance, which remains unenforceable by outside parties. Finally, it offers a construal of the former duty as a cosmopolitan duty to interact peacefully even in the absence of a shared culture.

Recebido / Received: 1o. de junho de 2020 / 1st June 2020
Aceito / Accepted: 30 de junho de 2020 / 30 June 2020.


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Biografia do Autor

Stefano LO RE, University of St Andrews

Fellow of the Centre for Ethics, Philosophy and Public Affairs of the University of St Andrews. His area of specialisation is the philosophy of Immanuel Kant, especially his moral, political, and legal thought. He obtained a BA (Laurea Triennale) in Philosophy at Università degli Studi di Milano Statale, and then an MLitt and a PhD in Philosophy, both at the University of St Andrews and the University of Stirling

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