Published online by Cambridge University Press: 16 March 2021
By closely connecting “free” and “dutiful” action, Kant appeared to some of his contemporaries to have a serious problem with the imputability of immoral actions. K. L. Reinhold attempted to avoid this problem by introducing a sharp distinction between freedom of choice (Willkür) and practical reason (as expressed through Wille), such that any free action must involve a choice between “selfish” and “unselfish” drives. After Kant rejected Reinhold’s proposed distinction, Fichte defended it by introducing a new distinction between the original, purely “formal” freedom of every spontaneously self-positing I and the “material” freedom that every I strives to achieve. Whereas formal freedom concerns the choice of means to predetermined ends, material freedom determines the ends as well as the means of acting. Fichte provides a detailed account of how a formally free individual might acquire material freedom through a series of “reflections” upon formal freedom, at which point freedom of choice is supposed to coincide with the categorical demands of the moral law—and Willkür with Wille. Fichte’s distinction between kinds and degrees of freedom was introduced in order to resolve the conflict between Kant and Reinhold, but it raises new questions concerning how one might “freely” acquire material freedom.
To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.
To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.
To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.