La rotondité de la Terre : une chance pour la paix
Article [Author's Original]
Is part ofKant-studien ; vol. 106, no. 3, pp. 371-397.
In his Doctrine of Right (1797), Kant claims that all three components of public law must be realized if perpetual peace is to be achieved: state law, the law of peoples, and cosmopolitan law. In their accounts of Kant’s cosmopolitan law, commentators have noted Kant’s remark that the Earth is not an infinite plane surface, but a globe. A close reading of section 43 shows, however, that the sphericity of the Earth is also a condition of the possibility of Kant’s new state law of peoples (Völkerstaatsrecht), a law oriented toward the ideal of a ‘global’ state of nation states (Völkerstaat). This means that the closed political space of the Earth, which is a purely contingent condition, had a decisive impact on Kant’s threefold conception of public law.