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PREFATORY EXPLANATIONS. - Immanuel Kant, The Philosophy of Law: An Exposition of the Fundamental Principles of Jurisprudence as the Science of Right 
The Philosophy of Law: An Exposition of the Fundamental Principles of Jurisprudence as the Science of Right, by Immanuel Kant, trans. W. Hastie (Edinburgh: Clark, 1887).
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The Metaphysic of Morals, as constituting the System of Practical Philosophy, was to follow the ‘Critique of the Practical Reason,’ as it now does. It falls into two parts: (1) The Metaphysical Principles of Jurisprudence as the Science of Right, and (2) The Metaphysical Principles of Ethics as the Science of Virtue. The whole System forms a counterpart to the ‘Metaphysical Principles of the Science of Nature,’ which have been already discussed in a separate work (1786). The General Introduction to the ‘Metaphysic of Morals’ bears mainly on its form in both the Divisions; and the Definitions and Explanations it contains exhibit and, to some extent, illustrate the formal Principles of the whole System.
The Science of Right as a philosophical exposition of the fundamental Principles of Jurisprudence, thus forms the First Part of the Metaphysic of Morals. Taken here by itself—apart from the special Principles of Ethics as the Science of Virtue which follows it—it has to be treated as a System of Principles that originate in Reason; and, as such, it might be properly designated ‘The Metaphysic of Right.’ But the conception of Right, purely rational in its origin though it be, is also applicable to cases presented in experience; and, consequently, a Metaphysical System of Rights must take into consideration the empirical variety and manifoldness of these cases in order that its Divisions may be complete. For completeness and comprehensiveness are essential and indispensable to the formation of a rational system. But, on the other hand, it is impossible to obtain a complete survey of all the details of experience, and where it may be attempted to approach this, the empirical conceptions embracing those details cannot form integral elements of the system itself, but can only be introduced in subordinate observations, and mainly as furnishing examples illustrative of the General Principles. The only appropriate designation for the First Part of a Metaphysic of Morals, will, therefore, be The Metaphysical Principles of the Science of Right. And, in regard to the practical application to cases, it is manifest that only an approximation to systematic treatment is to be expected, and not the attainment of a System complete in itself. Hence the same method of exposition will be adopted here as was followed in the former work on ‘The Metaphysical Principles of the Science of Nature.’ The Principles of Right which belong to the rational system will form the leading portions of the text, and details connected with Rights which refer to particular cases of experience, will be appended occasionally in subordinate remarks. In this way a distinction will be clearly made between what is a Metaphysical or rational Principle, and what refers to the empirical Practice of Right.
Towards the end of the work, I have treated several sections with less fulness of detail than might have been expected when they are compared with what precedes them. But this has been intentionally done, partly because it appears to me that the more general principles of the later subjects may be easily deduced from what has gone before; and, also, partly because the details of the Principles of Public Right are at present subjected to so much discussion, and are besides so important in themselves, that they may well justify delay, for a time, of a final and decisive judgment regarding them.