Publisher: University of Port Harcourt

Politico-Ethical Appraisal of The Nigerian State As The Actuality of Concrete Freedom: The Kantian Perspective

Alubabari Desmond Nbete, Nengi Doreen Greene
KEYWORDS: Morality, Kant’s Categorical Imperative, Freedom, Autonomy, Will, Politics


In the 19th century, G.W.F. Hegel in his Philosophy of Right wrote that “the state is the actuality of concrete freedom.” The logical import of that assertion is that individuals lack concrete freedom outside the civil state. It further implies that the state, for all practical purposes, is meant to protect the freedom of its individual members. All states can thus be understood to be the product of a compact or covenant and the Nigerian state is no exception to this rule. A logical outcome of this contract then is that the citizens of the instituted state must possess an actual freedom which the state must protect and preserve at all costs. This paper therefore conducts an assessment of the authenticity of freedom as expressed in the Nigerian milieu, using Kantian political and ethical thought as a guide.

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