Kant's Hylomorphic Formulation of Right and the Necessity of the State

Mike Gregory

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This paper argues against the common justification for the necessity of the state through the particular difficulty of private property right. Instead, I argue that the necessity of the state is internal to the concept of right in general. In order to show this, I point out how Kants adoption of hylomorphic language for the concept of right, where there is a formal and material aspect of right, allows us to understand the Rechtslehre as progressing through a syllogistic deduction from innate right (major), private right (minor) to public right (conclusion). Material right is made necessary through its subsumption under formal right in the civil condition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)539–564
Number of pages26
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 9-Sept-2023
Externally publishedYes


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