Kant’s Free Will and the Dual Nature of Humankind
The following paper examines the definition of free will from a subjectivist sense.
This paper analyzes Kant’s philosophical system with reference to Descartes. The author explores Kant’s system which raises many questions, particularly concerning freedom and the interaction of the two wills. If our definition of free will is re-evaluated and understood in a subjectivist sense, (much like the Copernican Revolution), Kant (and Descartes) provide a new concept of freedom as autonomy. Therefore, instead of preserving free will, these two philosophers produce a new understanding of it. The dual nature of the phenomenal and noumenal world continues to be a problem, but it remains so because of its very nature. It explains the human predicament: the cohesion of body and mind, and can go no farther.
Causality is a complex issue for philosophers who want to maintain morality and God. Although Immanuel Kant logically shows the necessity of causality for experience, he is unwilling to dismiss the idea of freedom. After all, moral and ethical judgments can only arise from a free will, for only if one’s will is free can one be held morally accountable for one’s actions. Kant, therefore, attempts to provide a metaphysical basis for believing in a free will, while still supporting causality.