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Das Strafgesetz ist ein kategorischer Imperativ, und wehe dem! welcher die Schlangenwindungen der Glückseligkeitslehre durchkriecht, um etwas aufzufinden, was durch den Vortheil, den es verspricht, ihn von der Strafe, oder auch nur einem Grade derselben entbinde nach dem pharisäischen Wahlspruch: »Es ist besser, daß ein Mensch sterbe, als daß das ganze Volk verderbe;« denn wenn die Gerechtigkeit untergeht, so hat es keinen Werth mehr, daß Menschen auf Erden leben.
The penal law is a categorical imperative, and woe to him who penetrates the snake coilings of the theory of happiness in order to find something which promises the advantage of freeing him from a punishment or even just a portion of the same in accordance with that saying of the Pharisees, “It’s better that one man die, than that the entire people perish;” for if justice goes, then what value remains for the human beings left living on earth?
–Immanuel Kant, Metaphysik der Sitten, pt ii, sec 1 (1797) in: Sämtliche Werke in sechs Bänden, vol. 5, p. 455 (Großherzog Wilhelm Ernst ed. 1922)(S.H. transl.)
More from Scott Horton:
Conversation — August 5, 2016, 12:08 pm
Sidney Blumenthal on the origins of the Republican Party, the fallout from Clinton’s emails, and his new biography of Abraham Lincoln
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
Years ago, I lived in Montana, a land of purple sunsets, clear streams, and snowflakes the size of silver dollars drifting through the cold air. There were no speed limits and you could legally drive drunk. My small apartment in Missoula had little privacy. In order to write, I rented an off-season fishing cabin on Rock Creek, a one-room place with a bed and a bureau. I lacked the budget for a desk. My idea was to remove a sliding door from a closet in my apartment and place it over a couple of hastily cobbled-together sawhorses.
Annual premium on a $6,000 life insurance policy for a champion German shepherd:
Astronomers discovered a pulsar called a superbubble, which spins 716 times per second.
Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari told reporters that his wife “belonged to” his kitchen.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”