Monday, 14 March 2011

Bradley Manning and Kant

It appears, from a recent news story, that Bradley Manning, the person officially believed to be responsible for leaking documents to Wikileaks, has been reading Kant whilst in prison. The story suggests that Manning requested copies of both the Critique of Practical Reason and the Critique of Pure Reason as reading matter. No reports have yet emerged concerning either why he asked for them or what he has got from reading them.

The perusal of the Critique of Practical Reason will no doubt have confirmed to him that the moral basis of action is not one grounded on external factors but requires a notion of universalisation to be included in it. This may well be something that he will want to include in any defence he makes of his actions though it would be something of a stretch to see how the whole Wikileaks episode relates to the foundations of moral philosophy through the formulation of a supreme principle. Perhaps he should instead try the Metaphysics of Morals as there he will discover reflections on both casuistry and basic questions about the nature of civil society and its relationship to the state.

No comments: