New PDF release: Kant’s ’Critique of Practical Reason’: A Critical Guide

By Andrews Reath, Jens Timmermann

The Critique of functional cause is the second one of Kant's 3 reviews, and his moment paintings in ethical concept after the basis of the Metaphysics of Morals. Its systematic account of the authority of ethical rules grounded in human autonomy unfolds Kant's thought of perspectives on morality and offers the keystone to his philosophical approach. those new essays make clear the important arguments of the second one Critique and discover their relation to Kant's serious philosophy as a complete. They study the genesis of the Critique, Kant's method of the authority of the ethical legislation given as a 'fact of reason', the metaphysics of unfastened enterprise, the account of recognize for morality because the ethical purpose, and questions raised through the 'primacy of functional cause' and the assumption of the 'postulates'. enticing and significant, this quantity can be worthwhile to complicated scholars and students of Kant and to ethical theorists alike.

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Extra info for Kant’s ’Critique of Practical Reason’: A Critical Guide

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39 When we want to provide ‘access and durability’ (G 4:405) to the moral law that is based on the application of pure reason, we have to resolve this – (as 37 See G 4:403. 38 G 4:404. 39 G 4:405. 24 heiner f. klemme we might call it) weak – dialectic located between this rational insight and our desire for happiness. This can only happen within the frame of a metaphysic of morals that repudiates any doubt about the ‘purity and strictness’ (G 4:405) of the moral law. The Groundwork is necessary for purely practical reasons, because common human reason is impelled, not by some need of speculation (which never touches it as long as it is content to be mere sound reason), but on practical grounds themselves, to go out of its sphere and to take a step into the field of practical philosophy, in order to obtain there information and distinct instruction regarding the source of its principle and the correct determination of this principle in comparison with maxims based on need and inclination, so that it may escape from its predicament about claims from both sides and not run the risk of being deprived of all genuine moral principles through the ambiguity into which it easily falls.

Or put differently: by discovering the antinomy, Kant accomplishes the transition from the ‘Critique of Pure Practical Reason’ to the Critique of Practical Reason. In what follows, I would like to side with the second scenario. I want to make the case that after November 1786, Kant redetermined the relationship of empirical practical and pure practical reason. Whereas in the Groundwork, he speaks of a ‘natural dialectic’ (G 4:405) into which common practical reason inevitably falls when reasoning about the categorical obligation of the moral law, in the Critique of Practical Reason Kant undermines any basis for doubt in the reality of the moral law with his doctrine of the ‘fact of pure reason’.

E. is that agent’s reason for acting) when the agent complies simply because the principle meets these criteria and makes a 2 3 Stephen Engstrom, ‘Introduction’, in Kant, Critique of Practical Reason, trans. Werner Pluhar (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 2002), xxxiv–xxxv. See also his The Form of Practical Knowledge (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009), 115–17, 122–7. Engstrom, ‘Introduction’, xxxv. 34 andrews reath necessary demand on any rational agent. A formal practical principle – or better, since Kant appears to think that there is only one, the formal principle of volition – is presumably the directive to act only from maxims that have the form of a law and to regard this demand as a sufficient reason for choice.

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