States of nature as theories of normativity: Kant and his predecessors
Macarena Marey (Conicet, Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA))

June 4, 2024, 8:00pm - 9:30pm

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Monash University

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The state of nature in social contract theories tells us two stories, one about who the main political actors are, and another one about the supra-juridical normativity and principles those actors use to judge and act politically once they are in the civil state. In this paper I focus on the latter matter by contrasting Kant’s approach to the state of nature and its role in his social contract theory with the conceptions of the state of nature in Hobbes, Locke, Achenwall, and Rousseau. Following the thesis that pre-juridical normativity functions as supra-juridical normativity once in the state, my main question is: how is “natural”, in the sense of “pre-political”, normativity generated? With this I am referring not only to the source of normativity, but mainly to how pretensions of normativity arise when people interact in the state of nature, and if these are or are not regulated by a moral-legal order independent from that interaction.

Dr Macarena Marey is Director of the Center for Critical Studies and Philosophy of the Present at the Institute of Philosophy at the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters in the University of Buenos Aires. She specializes in the tradition of the social contract and theories of democracy, and she is currently researching secularism in the 21st century. She is the author of Omnilateral Will and the Finitude of the Earth (La Cebra: 2021) and the editor of Theories of the Republic and Republican Practices (Barcelona, Herder: 2021). She has published works on political philosophy in numerous journals (such as Constellations, Kant-Studien, Critical Horizons, Problemos, Isegoría, Ideas y valores, Areté, etc.) and in books from different countries. She leads the research project "The notion of consent in modern theories of the social contract: conceptual and normative issues" (National Agency for Scientific and Technological Promotion).

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June 4, 2024, 8:00pm UTC

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