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"For I dipt into the future, far as human eye could see,
Tennyson: Locksley Hail.
A PHILOSOPHICAL ESSAY
Translated With Introduction And Notes
^*4 BY W
M. CAMPBELL SMITH, M.A* . • tT
SWAN SONNENSCHEIN & CO, LIM.
This translation of Kant's essay on Perpetual Peace was undertaken by Miss Mary Campbell Smith at the suggestion of the late Professor Ritchie of St. Andrews, who had promised to write for it a preface, indicating the value of Kant's work in relation to recent discussions regarding the possibility of "making wars to cease." In view of the general interest which these discussions have aroused and of the vague thinking and aspiration which have too often characterised them, it seemed to Professor Ritchie that a translation of this wise and sagacious essay would be both opportune and valuable. * His untimely death has prevented the fulfilment of his promise, and I have been asked, in his stead, to introduce the translator's work.
This is, I think, the only complete translation into English of Kant's essay, including all the notes as well as the text, and the translator has added a full historical Introduction, along with numerous notes of her own, so as (in Professor Ritchie's words) "to meet the needs (i) of the student of Political Science who wishes to understand the relation of Kant's theories to those of Grotius, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau etc., and (2) of the general reader who wishes to understand the significance of Kant's proposals in connection with the ideals of Peace Congresses, and with the development of International Law from the end of the Middle Ages to the Hague Conference."
* Cf. his Studies in Political and Social Ethics, pp. 169, 170.
Although it is more than 100 years since Kant's essay was written, its substantial value is practically unimpaired. Anyone who is acquainted with the general character of the mind of Kant will expect to find in him sound common-sense, clear recognition of the essential facts of the case and a remarkable power of analytically exhibiting the conditions on which the facts necessarily depend. These characteristics are manifest in the essay on Perpetual Peace. Kant is not pessimist enough to believe that a perpetual peace is an unrealisable dream or a consummation devoutly to be feared, nor is he optimist enough to fancy that it is an ideal which could easily be realised if men would but turn their hearts to one another. For Kant perpetual peace is an ideal, not merely as a speculative Utopian idea, with which in fancy we may play, but as a moral principle, which ought to be, and therefore can be, realised. Yet he makes it perfectly clear that we cannot hope to approach the realisation