What is the standing of a sovereign nation and what are its rights relative to other sovereign nations? What is our obligation to pursue peace? Can intervention in the affairs of another sovereign nation be justified? Who, if any one, has the right to intervene? In this short essay, Kant completes his political theory and philosophy of history, considering the prospects for peace among nations and addressing questions that remain central to our thoughts about nationalism, war, and peace. Ted Humphrey provides an eminently readable translation, along with a brief introduction that sketches Kant's argument.
One of the most influential thinkers of the Western civilization, a man who profoundly shaped the mind-set of the modern world, examines war and human nature and concludes, bracingly, that global peace is inevitable. Far from an unattainable utopian fantasy, this 1795 essay lays out the requirements for peace, including republican governments, freedom of movement for citizens, and-prophetically-the formation of a league of nations. In this era of imperialistic ambitions and preemptive wars, Kant's insight is a profound reminder that peace is possible but must be actively pursued.German metaphysician IMMANUEL KANT (1724-1804) served as a librarian of the Royal Library, a prestigious government position, and as a professor at K nigsberg University. His other works include Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime (1764), Critique of Pure Reason (1781), and Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals (1785).
Americans consider themselves a peaceful people. Yet every generation since colonial times has taken part in war. Why? Does something in our democratic creed lead us repeatedly into hostilities? Does the American sense of mission demand that we take up arms to transform the world into our own image? Do baser motives drive national policy? Is there, in short, a distinctive American motive and style of war? Distinguished diplomatic historian Robert A. Divine considers these questions in a thoughtful retrospective of the wars of the twentieth century. He examines the process of going to war and seeks patterns showing how and why the nation becomes involved in hostilities. He then turns to the way the United States wages war, looking at how it uses force to achieve political ends. Finally, he considers how leaders bring wars to an end, a process that sheds perhaps the most light of all on the national character. Repeatedly, Divine concludes, America seeks to use warfare to create a better and more stable world, only to meet with unexpected outcomes and the seeds of new hostility. Ironically, Divine finds that America's high ideals continually prevent the very peace the nation seeks. In the epilogue, Divine applies his points to the final American war of the century, the conflict in Kosovo, which is
TABLE OF CONTENTS: Introduction. Bibliography. A Note on the Text. 1. Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Intent (1784) 2. An Answer to the Question: What Is Enlightenment? (1784) 3. Speculative Beginning of Human History (1786) 4. On the Proverb: That May Be True in Theory, but Is of No Practical Use (1793) 5. The End of All Things (1794) 6. To Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch (1795) Glossary of Some German-English Translations. Index.
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