Frankfurt Lectures

July 8 and 9, 2024, 6:15 pm

Prof Arthur Ripstein (Faculty of Law and Department of Philosophy, University of Toronto)

Lecture I: The Idea of the Public

Public institutions exercise powers that no private person can enjoy; they collect taxes, impose binding resolution on disputes, define and punish crimes and make difficult choices that benefit some people more than others. Behind the exercise of these distinctively public powers lies a more general obligation to reason in ways that are fundamentally different from the ways in which private persons reason. Prominent contemporary writers have mistaken this idea of the public for either an idea of impartiality or as a technology for avoiding official discretion. I will articulate a Kantian account of the distinctively public nature of a legal order as well as the distinctive form of reasoning proper to its decision-making.

Lecture II: Giving Laws to Ourselves

The Kantian idea of freedom objects to any situation in which one person is subject to the private choice of another. Public institutions can only act through individual natural persons, and the decisions that they make will inevitably depend on particular features of those charged with making those decisions. In this Lecture I will explore the conditions under which such contingent decisions can nonetheless count as properly self-imposed by those who are subject to them.

Goethe University Frankfurt, Campus Westend
Buliding „Normative Ordnungen“, Room EG.01
Max Horkheimer Str. 2
60323 Frankfurt am Main

Please register in advance:

Presented by:
Research Centre Normative Orders and Research Initiative „ConTrust. Trust in Conflict. Political Life under Conditions of Uncertainty“