This section contains overviews of liberal IR theory as a whole, as well as particularly important aspects of liberal IR theory. Snyder 2004 provides the most basic overview of liberal theory and contrasts it with realism and constructivism. Williams, et al. 2006 is an excellent collection of excerpts from major liberal works, though it is not limited to liberal theory. For an in-depth discussion of liberalism, accessible for the undergraduate, see Richardson 2001 . Doyle 1986 provides an article-length overview of liberal theory and its influence on foreign affairs. Moravcsik 1997 is a lengthy discussion of what liberal theory is, and in it Moravcsik differentiates liberal theory from “neoliberal theory.” Putnam 1988 shows that both domestic politics and international politics affect policy outcomes. Milner 1991 effectively justifies liberal theory by arguing that the basic assumption of an anarchic international system is flawed. Oye 1986 is an edited volume that contains the work of major scholars on how cooperation under anarchy, a lynchpin of liberal IR theory, is possible.
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Although the early Kant showed a complete willingness to dissent from many important aspects of the Wolffian orthodoxy of the time, Kant continued to take for granted the basic rationalist assumption that metaphysical cognition was possible. In a retrospective remark from the Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics (1783), Kant says that his faith in this rationalist assumption was shaken by David Hume (1711-1776), whose skepticism regarding the possibility of knowledge of causal necessary connections awoke Kant from his “dogmatic slumber” (4:260). Hume argued that we can never have knowledge of necessary connections between causes and effects because such knowledge can neither be given through the senses, nor derived a priori as conceptual truths. Kant realized that Hume’s problem was a serious one because his skepticism about knowledge of the necessity of the connection between cause and effect generalized to all metaphysical knowledge pertaining to necessity, not just causation specifically. For instance, there is the question why mathematical truths necessarily hold true in the natural world, or the question whether we can know that a being (God) exists necessarily.