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Karl Leonhard Reinhold, “Some Remarks on the Concept of the Freedom of the Will, Posed by I. Kant in the Introduction to the Metaphysical Foundations of the Doctrine of Right,” in Auswahl vermischter Schriften, Volume ii, Jena, 1797, 364–400

from V - Freedom and Choice

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 March 2022

Edited and translated by
Jörg Noller
Affiliation:
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munchen
John Walsh
Affiliation:
Martin Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Germany
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Summary

In his “Some Remarks on the Concept of the Freedom of the Will, posed by I. Kant in the Introduction to the Metaphysical Foundations of the Doctrine of Right” (1797), K.L. Reinhold is incredulous that Kant could restrict free will to moral action after having previously emphasized the applicability of freedom to immoral action for the sake of moral imputation. Reinhold takes issue with Kant’s distinction between the will and the power of choice. According to Reinhold, the distinction is incoherent insofar as Kant defines freedom of the power of choice as the ability of pure reason to be practical, which seems to pertain to the legislative will rather than the executive power of choice. Reinhold interprets Kant’s conception of this freedom as precluding immoral action and claims that this would abolish the moral law’s normativity. Furthermore, Reinhold treats Kant’s denial that freedom of the power of choice can be defined as the capacity to choose for or against the moral law and Kant’s apparent declaration that the possibility of deviating from the moral law is an incapacity. If the possibility of deviating from the moral law were an incapacity, then, Reinhold maintains, the moral law would be impossible.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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