Kant and the Ethics of Taxation
72 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2012
Date Written: April 5, 2012
In this article I address the normative basis Kant provides for taxation. There exists a significant literature already that applies “Kantian” principles to the understanding of taxation but it does so in a limited way that shows little grasp of the structure of Kant’s ethics. Here I set the justification of taxation Kant provides in the setting it requires prior to treating his account of different types of justified taxation. The relationship between Kant’s ethics, his political theory, and his view of taxation thus becomes clearer. Subsequently I treat at some length the degree and nature of Kant’s view of redistributive taxation before concluding with a discussion of some implications for views of redistribution in contemporary political philosophy.
Keywords: Kant, taxation, ethics, philosophy, right, political theory
JEL Classification: B3, D63, H2, H23, H26, K34, M4
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