The Spherical Shape of Reason: Theoretical Implications in Kant’s Cosmopolitan Right

Angelo Cicatello


What is the meaning of the Kantian “right to visit”? What role does it play in his cosmopolitan project of peace? Kant scholars answer differently. Two opposite interpretive tendencies can be traced paradigmatically. One position points out freedom of circulation of the stranger as a condition of communication and peaceful coexistence between peoples. The other sees the constitutional limitation of the right to visit as a starting point for the creation of a global society. Kant’s philosophy offers elements that go beyond both interpretations. However, this only becomes apparent when the right to visit is read from a new perspective that goes beyond the specific space of the Kantian doctrine of right. The right to visit and the difference from the right to inhabit should be considered in connection with the broad architectural design of Kant’s thought. There is a deep connection between the right to visit as founded on common possession of the Earth, and the nature of reason as a field that only becomes our property insofar as we make ourselves able to grant others the same right to enter it. From this point of view we must all be at once hosts and guests.


Kant, Reason, Deduction, Cosmopolitan Right, Hospitality

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