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dc.contributor.authorTimmermann, Jens
dc.identifier.citationTimmermann , J 2022 , ' The quandary of infanticide in Kant's 'Doctrine of Right' ' , Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie , vol. Advance article .
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 277588151
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: f1ccab68-0d7b-490f-a668-98e10711d386
dc.identifier.otherORCID: /0000-0003-4155-3288/work/114977475
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 85132878218
dc.identifier.otherWOS: 000811224200001
dc.description.abstractThe aim of this paper is to settle the controversy around Kant’s notorious discussion of maternal infanticide in the ‘Doctrine of Right’ of 1797. How should a state punish an unmarried mother who has killed her newborn infant? The text (at DoR VI 335–37) is obscure. Three readings have been defended in the literature: 1. Lenience. Maternal infanticide does not count as murder; so, capital punishment is inappropriate. On this view, the child does not enjoy the full recognition of the law (this is the standard view). 2. Temporary privilege. Lenience should prevail as long as social attitudes are barbaric and treating maternal infanticide like regular cases of murder is perceived to be unjust. The regular punishment for murder will be appropriate once sexual mores have changed. The child will then enjoy the full protection of the law (Hruschka, Varden). 3. No lenience. Capital punishment, though it appears to be unjust, is actually just and ought to be applied. Any child, whether born to married parents or not, enjoys the full protection of the law (Brandt, Uleman). Based on a close examination of the passage and the context of contemporary laws and attitudes, Kant is not, it will be argued, advocating lenience but certain legislative reforms, which are needed to dispel the perception that capital punishment is unjust. Progressive legislation will change social attitudes, not vice versa. Moreover, it will be shown that Kant does not, appearances notwithstanding, endorse the thesis that a child born out of wedlock has been smuggled into the state like ‘prohibited goods’ or ‘contraband merchandise’, which would deprive the child of the protection of the state; that is the view with which Kant saddles Cesare Beccaria.
dc.relation.ispartofArchiv für Geschichte der Philosophieen
dc.rightsCopyright © 2022 the author, published by De Gruyter. Open Access. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.en
dc.subjectBD Speculative Philosophyen
dc.subjectSDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutionsen
dc.titleThe quandary of infanticide in Kant's 'Doctrine of Right'en
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.description.versionPublisher PDFen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. Philosophyen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

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