CFP: Kant and Democracy
Submission deadline: March 4, 2024
September 19, 2024 - September 20, 2024
Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas, University of Oslo
Kant’s legal and political philosophy has recently attracted much interest, but many questions remain about its significance for democracy. This conference explores the nature and justification for Kantian democracy. It is the third annual conference of the project KanDem - The Kantian Foundations of Democracy.
Deadline for abstracts: March 4. Limited funding to assist in the cost of travel is available. Submit abstract by following the link on the bottom of this page. Scholars at all career levels are welcome. For more information about the KanDem research project, follow this link: https://www.hf.uio.no/ifikk/english/research/projects/the-kantian-foundations-of-democracy/
Topic and questions: Even though Kant did not use the word democracy to describe his ideal of a rightful association, he was committed to the view that “the legislative authority can belong only to the united will of the people” (6:313), that citizens must have the right to vote, and that every constitution must be republican. Yet essential components of Kant’s commitment to popular sovereignty are not well understood.
This conference opens for contributions on numerous topics. Some questions concern the significance of consent for freedom: What difference does the democratic process make to the justice of law? How should we think of concepts like legitimacy, authority, and obligation in light of a Kantian theory of democracy? Other questions have to do with equality and inclusiveness: Who should be included as a citizen with the right to vote and on what grounds? How are the national boundaries of the demos justified? Further questions concern the institutional components of Kant’s account, including the nature and purpose of voting, representation, the separation of powers, and the connection of the democratic process to the public sphere. Questions of rights and duties in transitions to democracy (or from democracy) are also highly relevant. The conference investigates these questions and more, and attention will be paid to situating Kant’s view in the context of eighteenth century philosophy.
In 2024 some of the world’s largest democracies go to elections in the midst of numerous challenges: Populism, voter apathy, disinformation, distrust, economic inequality, unregulated use of money in politics, executive and judiciary overreach, insurrections, nationalism, and war. The time is right to think carefully about the nature and justification of democracy in Kant’s philosophy.
Organizer: The research project KanDem – Kantian Foundations of Democracy, funded by The Research Council of Norway and devoted to analyzing the democratic theory of the Kantian School in Germany in the 1790s. Additional support from The Norwegian Kant Society. Contact: [email protected]
Submit your abstract by following this link: