CFA: “Kant and Democracy” (Oslo, 19-20 September 2024)

We are glad to give notice of the call for abstracts for the third annual conference Kant and Democracy, which will find place on September 19th-20th, 2024, at the Department of Philosophy of the University of Oslo.
The conference is part of the project KanDem – The Kantian Foundations of Democracy, founded by The Research Council of Norway and devoted to analyzing the democratic theory of the Kantian School in Germany in the 1790s. The event is organized by the The Kantian Foundations of Democracy, with the additional support from The Norwegian Kant Society.

Deadline for abstracts: March 4.
You can submit your abstract by following this link.


Rainer Forst (Goethe University Frankfurt): “Kantian Republicanism and the Grounds of Democracy”

Paul Guyer (Brown University/University of Pennsylvania)

Jakob Huber (Freie Universität Berlin): “Kant and democratic hope”

Marie Newhouse (University of Surrey): “In what sense is the united general will of the people “general”?”

Arthur Ripstein (University of Toronto)

Please find below the text of the call.


Even though Kant did not use the word democracy to describe his ideal of a rightful association, he was committed to the view that “the legislative authority can belong only to the united will of the people” (6:313), that citizens must have the right to vote, and that every constitution must be republican. Yet essential components of Kant’s commitment to popular sovereignty are not well understood.

This conference opens for contributions on numerous topics. Some questions concern the significance of consent for freedom: What difference does the democratic process make to the justice of law? How should we think of concepts like legitimacy, authority, and obligation in light of a Kantian theory of democracy? Other questions have to do with equality and inclusiveness: Who should be included as a citizen with the right to vote and on what grounds? How are the national boundaries of the demos justified? Further questions concern the institutional components of Kant’s account, including the nature and purpose of voting, representation, the separation of powers, and the connection of the democratic process to the public sphere. Questions of rights and duties in transitions to democracy (or from democracy) are also highly relevant. The conference investigates these questions and more, and attention will be paid to situating Kant’s view in the context of eighteenth century philosophy.

In 2024 some of the world’s largest democracies go to elections in the midst of numerous challenges: Populism, voter apathy, disinformation, distrust, economic inequality, unregulated use of money in politics, executive and judiciary overreach, insurrections, nationalism, and war. The time is right to think carefully about the nature and justification of democracy in Kant’s philosophy.

For further information, please visit the website of the event.

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