Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) wrote a number of essays touching on the topics of war and peace. This entry covers his most famous work on peace, Zum ewigen Frieden: Ein philosophischer Entwurf(Toward Eternal Peace: A Philosophical Outline), often translated as “Toward Perpetual Peace,” first published in 1795. Some speculate that Kant was moved to write his essay because of the Peace of Basel, which included a peace treaty between France and Prussia on April 5, 1795, that allowed France to annex much of the Rhineland and proposed calling for a pan-European peace conference. In reaction to the principles of the treaty and hopeful of a more peaceful political climate, Kant may have been moved to publish his ideas for achieving lasting peace. Kant offered his essay to his publisher in August 1795.
Kant’s is the most sophisticated peace plan to come out of the Enlightenment. It is clear from Kant’s Lectures on Ethics and his later essays relating to war and peace that he was familiar with...
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Scheid, D.E. (2011). Perpetual Peace: Kant. In: Chatterjee, D.K. (eds) Encyclopedia of Global Justice. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9160-5_763
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