Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Seagrave, S. Adam

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Political Science


Kant; Immanuel; 1724-1804; Political science--Philosophy; Social contract; Political science; Philosophy


More than 200 years after his death, scholars continue to struggle with the works of Immanuel Kant and how to systematize it within the larger agglomerate of intellectual history. Among these struggles is a debate over Kant's political philosophy and its relationship with the social contract theory. In this study, I suggest more scrutiny should be given to what exactly Kant meant when he used the word freedom throughout his writings on politics and the importance this has for better understanding Kantian thought. Freedom presupposes a lot of things for Kant, but within the context of his politics, it includes a need for explicit and implicit consent within the epistemic constraints of human knowledge. Considered within the larger context of Kant's suggestions for how our politics should be done, my more meticulous investigation into Kantian freedom not only helps us better understand Kant, but also the status of the social contract theory in a post-Humean era.


Advisors: Adam Seagrave.||Committee members: Larry Arnhart; Andrea Radasanu.


36 pages




Northern Illinois University

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