After a short explanation of Kant’s distinction between
right (justice) and virtue (ethics), I sketch his theory of “private
right,” which are the rights individuals have in relation to each other.
Subsequently, I address the question of why we have states and public
legal-political systems, followed by the issue of states’ rights (public
right), specifically, the question of whether the state has (public)
rights that extend beyond the (private) rights individuals have in
relation to each other. The final two parts of this introduction focus
on the distinction between “active” and “passive citizens,” the relation
between right (justice) and politics, the issue of global justice, and,
briefly, the historical influence of Kant’s ideas about justice.