Freedom and the moral condition in F. W. J. Schelling's by Steven Francis McGuire

By Steven Francis McGuire

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Mary Gregor with an Introduction by Andrews Reath (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), 100-02 (5: 119-21). Kant does indicate the superiority of our capacity for moral knowledge in the Groundwork, however. 31 Thus, Kant acknowledges in the first Critique that his critique reserves the possibility that reason in its practical mode may afford us knowledge to which we could never make a claim from within the theoretical perspective. As he writes: when all progress in the field of the supersensible has thus been denied to speculative reason, it is still open to us to enquire whether, in the practical knowledge of reason, data may not be found sufficient to determine reason’s transcendent concept of the unconditioned, and so to enable us, in accordance with the wish of metaphysics, and by means of knowledge that is possible a priori, though only from a practical point of view, to pass beyond the limits of all possible experience.

There seems to be a general consensus among Kant scholars that the argument from freedom to the moral law does not work. It is not clear, however, that they think the argument of the second Critique works either. Consider Allen Wood, who admits that the first argument fails and yet focuses on it. Wood, Kant’s Ethical Thought, 171-82. 71 Kant, Critique of Practical Reason, 26 (5: 29). , 4, n (5: 4). Cf. ” Kant, Religion, 69, n. (6: 50). 73 Kant, Critique of Practical Reason, 27 (5: 30). 70 43 not based on any intuition, either pure or empirical, although it would be analytic if the freedom of the will were presupposed; but for this, as a positive concept, an intellectual intuition would be required, which certainly cannot be assumed here.

Pinkard suggests that he derives the notion of a “Kantian paradox” from Robert Pippin, but, in a more recent work, Pippin has distanced himself from Pinkard’s language. ”25 Nevertheless, conjuring Pinkard’s Kantian paradox, Pippin continues: “The image of some sort of putatively law-less person making or originating or legislating a principle and only thereby being bound to it—otherwise not bound at all—makes it very hard to imagine on what sort of basis such a law-less subject could decide what to legislate.

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