But if this were so, the status of philosophical reasoning itself would stand in grave doubt. Only on this basis, Kant contends, can we find an explanation for the structure of that experience (for example, its temporality or causal connectedness). Finally, an attempt is made at relating Kant’s conception of the dignity of rational nature to questions of practical justification, by arguing that it points the way toward an intersubjective conception of practical reason not found explicitly in Kant’s account. Kant’s famous essay, “What is Enlightenment?” (1784), has been of particular importance to commentators concerned with Kantian reason and politics. We often do this when we believe someone else is better able to judge a particular issue—when we accept “doctor’s orders,” for example.). External). The second section examines key aspects of reason in the moral philosophy, with especial reference to the second Critique. Clearly, this line of thought is not immune to criticism. That is, Kant’s philosophical task is not just a matter of “compelling” sensibility and understanding to act as “witnesses”: reason stands before its own tribunal, too, and must give account of itself. “To use one’s own reason” is to be engaged in the quest to address all “citizens of the world.” Our judgments and principles are only reasonable to the extent that they can be accepted by all—which means, among other things, that they cannot assume the authority of any particular organization or leader. Cf Kant’s Moral Philosophy §5.) So Kant claims, “error is only effected through the unnoticed influence of sensibility on understanding, through which it happens that the subjective grounds of the judgment join with the objective ones” (A294). Many philosophers—both contemporary and historical figures—proceed as if this were already clear. In addition to claiming that freedom implies subjection to the Categorical Imperative, Kant also argues that moral obligation implies freedom. Kant certainly wants to delimit the bounds of reason, but this is not the same as arguing that it has no role in our knowledge. Kant’s derivation of the supreme principle of morality in the Second Section of Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals proceeds by way of a philosophical examination of “the practical faculty of reason” and an “exhibition” of its “rules of determination”. 5 Anthropology and Metaphysics in Kant’s Categorical Imperative of Law, 6 Kant, Moral Obligation, and the Holy Will. Zum Problem der Vereinbarkeit von theoretischer und praktischer Vernunft bei Immanuel Kant,”, Freudiger, J., 1996, “Kants Schlußstein: Wie die Teleologie die Einheit der Vernunft stiftet,”, Friedman, M., 1992a, “Causal Laws and Foundations of Natural Science,” in, –––, 1992c, “Regulative and Constitutive,”, –––, 2006, “The Primacy of Practical Reason,” in, Guyer, P., 1989, “The Unity of Reason: Pure Reason as Practical Reason in Kant’s Early Conception of the Transcendental Dialectic,”, –––, 1990, “Reason and Reflective Judgment: Kant on the Significance of Systematicity,”, –––, 2000a, “Freedom as the Inner Value of the World,” ch. Whereas Part III of the Groundwork seems to give a “deduction” (justification) of freedom, in the secondCritique Kant sees that this project is impossible on his own premises. (This metaphor is investigated by Stoddard 1988; Kant’s juridical and political metaphors are given a central philosophical role by Saner 1967 and O’Neill 1989.) Thus Kant often alludes to Hobbes, on whose theory peaceful order is only possible if an unaccountable sovereign power overawes all the members of society. So it is not conditioned by anything else—for instance, by a desire for happiness or merely subjective wishes. (5:121), Kant’s basic claim is not prima facie implausible—“all interest is ultimately practical and even that of speculative reason is only conditional and is complete in practical use alone” (5:121). While morality is, for Kant, the sole unconditional good for human beings, he certainly does not deny that happiness is an important good, and indeed the natural and necessary end of every human being (cf. The entry on Kant’s Philosophy of Science considers Kant’s view of the natural sciences, especially physics. It is clear that practical reason is the foundation of Kant’s moral philosophy. Thus Kant proposes three questions that answer “all the interest of my reason”: “What can I know?” “What must I do?” and “What may I hope?” (A805=B833). And yet we cannot think of human agency as anywhere near adequate to the task: “I [or indeed we] cannot hope to produce this [highest possible good] except by the harmony of my will with that of a holy and beneficent author of the world” (5:129). For information about the world, we are entirely dependent on sensibility and understanding. (8:35). to Kant’s essay “What is it to Orient Oneself in Thinking?” (1786): To make use of one’s own reason means no more than to ask oneself, whenever one is supposed to assume something, whether one could find it feasible to make the ground or the rule on which one assumes it into a universal principle for the use of reason. Activities must have goals if they are not to degenerate into merely random groping (cf. [12] “Mathematics gives the most resplendent example of pure reason happily expanding itself without assistance from experience” (A712=B740). See Kant and Hume on Causality.) [7] Again and again, reason dreams up variations on some very basic ideas—the immortal soul, God, freedom; what is more, it cooks up[8] more or less convincing proofs of these. If we hold, for example, that scientific laws hold necessarily (e.g., “the same fundamental laws must hold at all times”), this is a metaphysical rather than an empirical claim. (See also Kant’s Social and Political Philosophy, §§4, 6.) Empiricism.) Apart from the fact that my inclinations will surely change and clash, it is not a policy that everyone can follow: if they did, the results would be chaotic and defeat anyone’s attempts to satisfy their inclinations. While the secondary literature discussing her proposal remains limited, O’Neill’s interpretation of Kant represents an ambitious and distinctive answer to this question. Only if a belief conforms to these conditions does it meet the “formal” conditions of truth. (Again, cf. Kant’s question, then, is how we might defend reason from various doubts and worries[13] and how we might discipline it without begging questions (for instance, by invoking claims or premises that themselves are open to doubt) (cf. It does not involve the fantasy that we already know or intuit what everyoneshould accept (as the perfectionist account does). Practical Reason, §4; Reasons for Action: Internal vs. This sort of procedure is not available to philosophers, who have no right to assume any a priori intuitions or axioms about metaphysical entities. So, Kant argues, we must postulate God’s existence, while a belief in immortality enables us to hope that we will come closer to virtue so as to be worthy of happiness. Now, however, Kant argues that pure practical reason has “primacy” even on the home turf of theoretical reason. The instrumental reasoner is accountable to no-one—in fact, to nothing apart from whatever desires or ends he happens to have.


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