Kant's landmark essay, "On Perpetual Peace," is as timely,
relevant, and inspiring today as when it was first written over 200
years ago. In it, we find a forward-looking vision of a world
respectful of human rights, dominated by liberal democracies, and
united in a cosmopolitan federation of diverse peoples. This book
features a fresh and vigorous translation of Kant's essay by Ian
Johnston. And it includes an extended introduction by philosopher
Brian Orend, author of the widely-used text, The Morality of War.
This extensive, yet highly readable, introduction situates Kant's
essay in its historical context, while also offering a substantial
analysis, section-by-section, of the essay itself. In doing so,
Orend not only discusses Kant's personal life and the history of
"the perpetual peace tradition," he also shows how Kant's
provocative ideas have inspired and infused our own time,
especially the concept of a global alliance of free societies
committed to respecting human rights. The book also sports an
enlightening set of appendices that cleverly and sharply debate the
promise of perpetual peace. A few are from Kant's works, but most
are from other acclaimed thinkers, including: Hegel, Leibniz,
Bentham, Voltaire, Rousseau, and the Abbe de Saint-Pierre. A
chronology of Kant's life and a recommended reading list round out
this inquiry into one of the most hopeful, stirring, and
imaginative political proposals: a cosmopolitan federation uniting
us all and securing perpetual peace between nations.
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