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CONCLUSION. - 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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If one cannot prove that a thing is, he may try to prove that it is not. And if he succeeds in doing neither (as often occurs), he may still ask whether it is in his interest to accept one or other of the alternatives hypothetically, from the theoretical or the practical point of view. In other words, a hypothesis may be accepted either in order to explain a certain Phenomenon (as in Astronomy to account for the retrogression and stationariness of the planets), or in order to attain a certain end, which again may be either pragmatic as belonging merely to the sphere of Art, or moral as involving a purpose which it is a duty to adopt as a maxim of action. Now it is evident that the assumption (suppositio) of the practicability of such an End, though presented merely as a theoretical and problematical judgment, may be regarded as constituting a duty; and hence it is so regarded in this case. For although there may be no positive obligation to believe in such an End, yet even if there were not the least theoretical probability of action being carried out in accordance with it, so long as its impossibility cannot be demonstrated, there still remains a duty incumbent upon us with regard to it.
Now, as a matter of fact, the morally practical Reason utters within us its irrevocable Veto: ‘There shall be no War.’ So there ought to be no war, neither between me and you in the condition of Nature, nor between us as members of States which, although internally in a condition of law, are still externally in their relation to each other in a condition of lawlessness; for this is not the way by which any one should prosecute his Right. Hence the question no longer is as to whether Perpetual Peace is a real thing or not a real thing, or as to whether we may not be deceiving ourselves when we adopt the former alternative, but we must act on the supposition of its being real. We must work for what may perhaps not be realized, and establish that Constitution which yet seems best adapted to bring it about (mayhap Republicanism in all States, together and separately). And thus we may put an end to the evil of wars, which have been the chief interest of the internal arrangements of all the States without exception. And although the realization of this purpose may always remain but a pious wish, yet we do certainly not deceive ourselves in adopting the maxim of action that will guide us in working incessantly for it; for it is a duty to do this. To suppose that the moral Law within us is itself deceptive, would be sufficient to excite the horrible wish rather to be deprived of all Reason than to live under such deception, and even to see oneself, according to such principles, degraded like the lower animals to the level of the mechanical play of Nature.
It may be said that the universal and lasting establishment of Peace constitutes not merely a part, but the whole final purpose and End of the Science of Right as viewed within the limits of Reason. The state of Peace is the only condition of the Mine and Thine that is secured and guaranteed by Laws in the relationship of men living in numbers contiguous to each other, and who are thus combined in a Constitution whose rule is derived not from the mere experience of those who have found it the best as a normal guide for others, but which must be taken by the Reason à priori from the ideal of a juridical Union of men under public laws generally. For all particular examples or instances, being able only to furnish illustration but not proof, are deceptive, and at all events require a Metaphysic to establish them by its necessary principles. And this is conceded indirectly even by those who turn Metaphysics into ridicule, when they say, as they often do, ‘The best Constitution is that in which not Men but Laws exercise the power.’ For what can be more metaphysically sublime in its own way than this very Idea of theirs, which according to their own assertion has, notwithstanding, the most objective reality? This may be easily shown by reference to actual instances. And it is this very Idea which alone can be carried out practically, if it is not forced on in a revolutionary and sudden way by violent overthrow of the existing defective Constitution; for this would produce for the time the momentary annihilation of the whole juridical state of Society. But if the idea is carried forward by gradual Reform, and in accordance with fixed Principles, it may lead by a continuous approximation to the highest political Good, and to Perpetual Peace.
SUPPLEMENTARY EXPLANATIONS of the PRINCIPLES OF RIGHT.
[Written by Kant in 1797, and added to the Second Edition in 1798.]
The Occasion for these Explanations was furnished mainly by a Review of this work that appeared in the Göttingen Journal, No. 28, of 18th February 1797. The Review displays insight, and with sympathetic appreciation it expresses ‘the hope that this Exposition of Principles will prove a permanent gain for juridical Science.’ It is here taken as a guide in the arrangement of some critical Remarks, and at the same time as suggesting some expansion of the system in certain points of detail.