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Michael Sandel on Kant - Dictionary of Arguments

Gaus I 111
Kant/Sandel/Gaus: Benn and Gewirth both seek a direct route from agency to liberal rights: if we understand the type of agents we are, we see that we must claim certain liberal rights and grant them to others. >Person/Benn, >Rights/Gewirth.
KantVsGewirth/KantVs/Benn: in contrast, what is often called ‘Kantian liberalism’ seeks to establish liberal rights via a hypothetical contract, which then generates basic rights.
SandelVsKant: In the words of Sandel, its most famous critic, according to ‘deontological’ or ‘Kantian liberalism’, ‘society, being composed of a plurality of persons, each with his own aims, interests, and conceptions of the good, is best arranged when it is governed by principles that do not themselves presuppose any particular conception of the good’ (1982(1): 1–7).
Respect/recognition: Because, on this view, each is a chooser of her own ends in life, respect for the person of others demands that we refrain from imposing our view of the good life on her. Only principles that can be justified to all respect the personhood of each. Respect, then, requires a certain mode of justification, according to which moral principles are acceptable to all free moral persons in a fair choice situation. Liberal principles are then generated via this mode of justification. Cf. >Reason/Scanlon.


1. Sandel, Michael (1982) Liberalism and the Limits of Justice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Gaus, Gerald F. 2004. „The Diversity of Comprehensive Liberalisms.“ In: Gaus, Gerald F. & Kukathas, Chandran 2004. Handbook of Political Theory. SAGE Publications.

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Brocker I 670
Kant/SandelVsRawls/SandelVsKant/SandelVsLiberalism/Sandel: Kant has perhaps most consistently decoupled ethics and law from the vanishing point of good living and instead fully relied on a theory of right, understood in the sense of the reasonable generalizability of maxims of action. Rawls builds on this with his theory of justice (1975). See Principles/Rawls.
SandelVsRawls, SandelVsKant: propagates the priority of an idea of good and successful life (Aristotle's eudaimonia) as a starting point. See Liberalism/Sandel, Law/Kant, SandelVsRawls.


Markus Rothhaar, “Michael Sandel, Liberalism and the Limits of Justice” in: Manfred Brocker (Hg.) Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert. Frankfurt/M. 2018


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Sand I
Michael Sandel
The Procedural Republic and the Unencumbered Self 1984

Gaus I
Gerald F. Gaus
Chandran Kukathas
Handbook of Political Theory London 2004

Brocker I
Manfred Brocker
Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert Frankfurt/M. 2018


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