Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 10, 2008


Toshiro Terada
Pages 427-436

Kant’s Metaphysics of Morals as Global Ethics

In this paper I explore the possibility of reading Immanuel Kant’s metaphysics of morals as a proposal of global ethics, that is, ethics of the globalizing world. We have a good reason to undertake this exploration because Kant suggests that the earth being a globe with a finite spherical surface is a fundamental condition of realization of the universal principle of right among the world citizens. Unfortunately, however, Kant did not develop a theory of cosmopolitan rights as far as he could have. The reason is that he faced with a serious question which originated from his realistic judgment of his time, that it would be almost impossible to establish a cosmopolitan constitution without constraint of power. Today, however, we can hope to find an answer to this question in the development of global civil society and by virtue of this hope we can conceive global ethics which is further developed from Kant’s metaphysics of morals.