Scandalum Acceptum and Scandalum Datum: Kant's Non-Interventionism In The Fifth Preliminary Article of the Perpetual Peace

Pievatolo, Maria Chiara (2013) Scandalum Acceptum and Scandalum Datum: Kant's Non-Interventionism In The Fifth Preliminary Article of the Perpetual Peace. Scienza & Politica, 24 (48). ISSN 1825-9618

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Is it right to wage war to export democracy, or -- as Kant would have said -- to interfere forcibly in the constitution and in the government of another state with the goal of transforming it into a republic? The answer of Kant is contained in the fifth preliminary article of the Perpetual Peace and it leans towards non-interventionism: a bad constitution can never justify a war, because it may be the root only of a scandalum acceptum. To understand the meaning of scandalum acceptum we have to become aware that it is a term originating from moral theology, which we should translate into the language of international law. Most of Kant's contemporaries still understood the scandal as the sin of advertising a sinful behavior. A scandalum is only acceptum, however, if the act that inspired others to sin has been done without the intention to give them a bad example. A flawed constitution can only be the occasion of a scandalum acceptum because its legal power does not spread its influence beyond the border of its state. If a nation chooses to imitate the allegedly wrong constitution of another state, its choice only depends on its sovereignty, because it is a matter of internal constitutional law. On the other hand, waging war against another country because of its allegedly flawed constitution is a worse kind of scandal, the scandalum datum, because it involves an international law principle of limited sovereignty according to which every state has the right to assault another state because of its constitution.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Pdf deleted from
Natural Language Keywords: deleted from SSRN, Kant, scandalum acceptum, war, non-interventionism
Subjects: Filosofia > Modern Western philosophy
Scienze Sociali
Scienze Sociali > Political science
Depositing User: Maria Chiara Pievatolo
Date Deposited: 28 Aug 2013 15:58
Last Modified: 18 May 2016 09:47
NBN identifier: urn:nbn:it:unipi-10762

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