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The Closed Commercial State:
Perpetual Peace and Commercial Society from Rousseau to Fichte
Isaac Nakhimovsky

Book Description | Table of Contents
Introduction [in PDF format]


"Astonishingly, this is the first full study of the ideas of the major political theorist Johann Gottlieb Fichte. It transforms not simply our understanding of Fichte, but of the whole of nineteenth-century German thought--we will all have to read Hegel and Marx in a new way after this book."--Richard Tuck, Harvard University

"Isaac Nakhimovsky brilliantly reveals Fichte's attempt to enlist the welfare state and economic nationalism to resolve gaps in Kant's philosophy of international peace, democratic republicanism, and cosmopolitan commerce. One need not agree that Fichte succeeded in order to appreciate the excellent scholarship and deep contemplation that Nakhimovsky brings to these important issues."--Michael Doyle, Columbia University

"Superbly researched and elegantly written, this is a truly original study of a fascinating aspect of Enlightenment political thought and economy. Nakhimovsky brilliantly illuminates Fichte as a political philosopher and the broader currents of thought--including the writings of Rousseau, Kant, and Sièyes--that shaped him. This is essential reading for all those who care about the modern intellectual history of, and continuing theoretical debates over, international relations, globalization, republicanism, and distributive justice."--Sankar Muthu, University of Chicago

"This elegant book explores how Fichte came to conceive of the closed commercial state as necessary for international peace and domestic social justice. In a dramatic narrative, Nakhimovsky offers readers new intellectual resources for understanding economic self-sufficiency. This idea has been drowned out by the siren song of globalization in recent years, but Nakhimovsky shows it might resurface, motivated by the same reasons and ideals that moved Fichte."--Russell Muirhead, Dartmouth College

"Nakhimovsky has written a lucid and highly original account of how controversies from the European Enlightenment remain central to modern debates on globalization, the welfare of populations, and international peace."--Keith Tribe, University of Sussex

"Isaac Nakhimovsky's penetrating and remarkably stimulating book is by far the best attempt to capture the force of, and the motivation behind, Johann Gottlieb Fichte's critique and amendment of Kant's Perpetual Peace. Nakhimovsky shows why the two visions together provide a sharper definition of the political predicament we continue to face than shelves full of contemporary texts in international relations."--John Dunn, fellow of King's College, University of Cambridge

"This clear and carefully written book does an excellent job of explaining the importance and historical context of an interesting work by a major nineteenth-century philosopher. The author's knowledge of the primary text, Fichte's other texts, and the relevant secondary literature is impeccable. This book will greatly interest intellectual historians and historians of philosophy who specialize in nineteenth-century European thought."--Frederick Neuhouser, Barnard College, Columbia University

"Nakhimovsky has written an important book on the political economy of nineteenth-century Europe. The value of this lucid book is twofold: it introduces Fichte's work and his theory of political economy to an English-speaking readership, and it also provides an overview of the multidimensional debates on the state, national, and international economies and their relation to the betterment of humanity that determined the course of German idealism."--John K. Noyes, University of Toronto

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File created: 4/24/2017

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