Kant’s Political Thought: Its Origins and Development

Sauer, Hans, Kant’s Political Thought: Its Origins and Development, trans. E.B. Ashton, University of Chicago Press, 1973.

From a review:

For a civilization to build upon the human relationships of men and women it must  at least include the mechanism of decision-making that not only ensures a non-violence means of resolving conflicts but also enhances the general ends of the state. This is because, according to Hans Saner, ” politics is based on reason,” not the political act, and thus the proper function of a states is to provide the atmosphere whereby reason may be employed in the difficult task of determining relationships not only between man and man but also between men and the higher logical order of rationality itself. Saner postulates that at least in the Kantian tradition the faculty of reflective judgments is the sum and substance of politics, the vehicle of the political process. As Saner  sees it, due in part to some acute slew thing, through dusty notes on Kant’s lectures at Konigsberg University,  Kant’s entire system of politics is a quarrel with the uncritical mode of polemics, “the defensive struggle forced upon a critical thinker by the aggression of an uncritical one.”  Polemics  is defined as the medium of progressing, a form of “critique,” a creative motor driving toward a stated goal of becoming. It is in this function of polemics that Saner  finds the importance of Kant’s contribution to understanding the functions of man living in community with fellow men.

Review form Philosophy and Rhetoric, Vol 8, No. 3