Front Page Titles (by Subject) PUBLIC RIGHT. - The Philosophy of Law: An Exposition of the Fundamental Principles of Jurisprudence as the Science of Right
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PUBLIC RIGHT. - 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 Universal Right of Mankind.
Nature and Conditions of Cosmopolitical Right.
The rational idea of a universal, peaceful, if not yet friendly, Union of all the Nations upon the earth that may come into active relations with each other, is a juridical Principle, as distinguished from philanthropic or ethical principles. Nature has enclosed them altogether within definite boundaries, in virtue of the spherical form of their abode as a globus terraqueus; and the possession of the soil upon which an inhabitant of the earth may live, can only be regarded as possession of a part of a limited whole, and consequently as a part to which every one has originally a Right. Hence all nations originally hold a community of the soil, but not a juridical community of possession (communio), nor consequently of the use or proprietorship of the soil, but only of a possible physical intercourse (commercium) by means of it. In other words, they are placed in such thoroughgoing relations of each to all the rest, that they may claim to enter into intercourse with one another, and they have a right to make an attempt in this direction, while a foreign nation would not be entitled to treat them on this account as enemies. This Right, in so far as it relates to a possible Union of all Nations, in respect of certain laws universally regulating their intercourse with each other, may be called ‘Cosmopolitical Right’ (jus cosmopoliticum).
It may appear that seas put nations out of all communion with each other. But this is not so; for by means of commerce, seas form the happiest natural provision for their intercourse. And the more there are of neighbouring coast-lands, as in the case of the Mediterranean Sea, this intercourse becomes the more animated. And hence communications with such lands, especially where there are settlements upon them connected with the mother countries giving occasion for such communications, bring it about that evil and violence committed in one place of our globe are felt in all. Such possible abuse cannot, however, annul the Right of man as a citizen of the world to attempt to enter into communion with all others, and for this purpose to visit all the regions of the earth, although this does not constitute a right of settlement upon the territory of another people (jus incolatus), for which a special contract is required.
But the question is raised as to whether, in the case of newly discovered countries, a people may claim the right to settle (accolatus), and to occupy possessions in the neighbourhood of another people that has already settled in that region; and to do this without their consent.
Such a Right is indubitable, if the new settlement takes place at such a distance from the seat of the former, that neither would restrict or injure the other in the use of their territory. But in the case of nomadic peoples, or tribes of shepherds and hunters (such as the Hottentots, the Tungusi, and most of the American Indians), whose support is derived from wide desert tracts, such occupation should never take place by force, but only by contract; and any such contract ought never to take advantage of the ignorance of the original dwellers in regard to the cession of their lands. Yet it is commonly alleged that such acts of violent appropriation may be justified as subserving the general good of the world. It appears as if sufficiently justifying grounds were furnished for them, partly by reference to the civilisation of barbarous peoples (as by a pretext of this kind even Busching tries to excuse the bloody introduction of the Christian religion into Germany), and partly by founding upon the necessity of purging one’s own country from depraved criminals, and the hope of their improvement or that of their posterity, in another continent like New Holland. But all these alleged good purposes cannot wash out the stain of injustice in the means employed to attain them. It may be objected that had such scrupulousness about making a beginning in founding a legal State with force been always maintained, the whole earth would still have been in a state of lawlessness. But such an objection would as little annul the conditions of Right in question as the pretext of the political revolutionaries, that when a constitution has become degenerate, it belongs to the people to transform it by force. This would amount generally to being unjust once and for all, in order thereafter to found justice the more surely, and to make it flourish.