In Search of Lost Realism. Comparison of Kant’s and Morgenthau’s Political Thinking

  • Juraj Laššuth
Keywords: Realism, ethics, anthropology, power, law


The article addresses the issue of classical realism as an important tradition of thinking in IR. The aim is to survey the philosophical and ethical background of this tradition. The political and ethical thinking of Hans Morgenthau, one of the fathers of classical realism, was compared to the philosophy of Immanuel Kant – a crucial source of idealism in IR. These authors suprisingly share common beliefs in ethics, non-utopianism, and their common challenge: examining the possibilities of good/just politics. The aim was to locate the point of disagreement between Kant (idealism) and Morgenthau (classical realism) on the level of ethics/anthropology. The main assumption is an intepretation of realism as a theory of politics based on knowledge of the tragical being in the world, where good and evil are inseparably mixed.

Author Biography

Juraj Laššuth



Research Articles