XI KANT KONGRESS, XI Congresso Kantiano Internazionale

Freedom as both Fact and Postulate

Jeppe von Platz

Edificio: Palazzo dei Congressi
Sala: sala Torricelli
Data: 23 maggio 2010 - 14:30
Ultima modifica: 13 aprile 2010

Abstract

In this essay I suggest a solution for an apparent problem in Kant’s argument concerning the objective reality of freedom. The problem is that Kant apparently affirms the following three claims: (1) The objective reality of freedom is a postulate of pure practical reason. (2) Postulates of pure practical reason concern matters of belief that, as such, are unknowable. (3) The objective reality of freedom is a fact and, as such, known. These yield the apparent contradiction that the objective reality of freedom is both unknowable and known. I discuss and reject one possible solution (suggested by Allison and Beck), namely that Kant is working with different kinds of freedom so that one kind is postulated, the other known as fact. Instead I offer an explanation of how the cognition of freedom is grounded in a manner so that it is both a postulate and known as fact. It follows that Kant does not maintain claim (2).