Kant on giving to beggars

Monday, 14 May, 2012 - 15:00

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Kant has a number of harsh-sounding things to say about beggars and giving to beggars. He describes begging as “closely akin to robbery” (6:326), and says that it exhibits self-contempt. In this paper I argue that in the context of his political philosophy (on one interpretation of this) his worries about giving to beggars can be seen as part of a concern with social justice. Further, I argue that his account makes sense of some troubling aspects of the phenomenology of being confronted with beggars.

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