- Series: Hackett Classics
- Paperback: 162 pages
- Publisher: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.; 1 edition (February 15, 1983)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0915145472
- ISBN-13: 978-0915145478
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #380,667 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Perpetual Peace and Other Essays (Hackett Classics) 1st Edition
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Yes, the modernity of his thoughts is astonishing, but even more so is the fact that two centuries later the establishment of a world federation and the permanent abolition of warfare are still being discussed only by isolated, out-of-the-way theoreticians. Two world wars and an entire century of unheard of violence across the globe have made no difference on the mind of humanity. We are still playing the ancient game of one-upmanship and international power-play. The world is clogged with armed forces and weapons of mass destruction, while the cure from all that violence has been known for ages. Reading about his thoughts makes one realize that man has not become any wiser during the past 200 years.
Mr. Kant also perpetuates some fool notion that the ends cannot justify the means when it comes to man's treatment of his fellow human being. The alternative, one supposes, is suffering of the highest magnitudes while everyone piddles about following Kant's nonsense of following a "good will" -- the specifics of which they are supposed to know intuitively, mind! There is even a short section in which he criticizes his detractors for their assumption that good deeds and happiness should ever converge - as though the goodness of deeds were not defined by the overall amount of happiness they create in the world!
And, to make matters so much worse, Mr. Kant is a bore of the worst kind. So much of this would be forgivable with a spot of true wit here and there, but his sense of humour is, sadly, a complete void in the wasteland of his already unremarkable work.
On the upside, the book is well bound, the typeface clearly legible, and the translation absolutely impeccable. In fact, it is the last of these that affords this book three stars, although ironically it represents quite literally the part over which Mr. Kant himself had the least control.
I would hesitate to recommend this product when other amazingly well written works such as those by Jeremy Bentham or John Stuart Mill are readily available. If anything, it might be purchased in order to show the success of those pieces.
Kant's Perpetual Peace is terrible. Irrespective of its outrageous conclusion, it ignores all the better arguments that went before it, and indeed, makes one think "if practical reason is such to allow such immoral consequences as despots can conjure, protect me from practical reason".
Also included are the essays Speculative Beginning of Human History and The End of All Things, which are interesting and sometimes obscure combinations of philosophical speculation and scriptural exegesis.
Good footnotes and introductory essay.