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2020 ECPR Winter School in Methods & Techniques

The Basis of Kant’s Theory of Political Change

Political Theory
Critical Theory
Jakub Szczepański
Jagiellonian University
Jakub Szczepański
Jagiellonian University

This presentation attempts to establish the basis of Kant’s theory of political change. The hypothesis of such theory is based on the way Kant writes about political change in the “Metaphysics of Morals”. Using the terms metamorphosis and palingenesis, Kant points to the possibility of biological grounds of political change. What does it entail? As Kant explains in the “Critique of the Power of Judgement”, apart from the cause-and-effect paradigm, the other one used in relation to the so-called “organized beings”, or living creatures, is the purposive paradigm. Following from that, we should look at political change from a cause-and-effect perspective within the limits of cognition, and from a perspective of purposiveness, when cognition is insufficient. This assumption opens an interesting horizon of looking at the political reality in an organic manner, which Kant supports with strong methodological arguments.
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