Interest and Agency

In Anders Moe Rasmussen & Markus Gabriel (eds.), German Idealism Today. De Gruyter. pp. 3-26 (2017)
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(2017) 'Interest and Agency', in Gabriel, Markus and Rasmussen, Anders Moe (eds.) German Idealism Today. De Guyter Verlag. Abstract: Undeterred by Kant’s cautionary advice, contemporary defenders of free will advance substantive metaphysical theses in support of their views. This is perhaps unsurprising given the mixed reception of Kant’s solution of the conflict between freedom and natural necessity, which is supposed to vindicate reason’s withdrawal from speculation. Kant argues that neither libertarians nor determinists can win, because they deal with concepts of unrestricted scope, and proposes instead to regiment the reference conditions of each concept and to specify the domain, ‘world’, proper to each. However, the precise character of this solution, its conceptual and metaphysical commitments, continues to be a matter of controversy among Kant scholars. In particular, there is ever-renewed concern about the incipient dualism of the position. Although I will be examining some of this material, my primary aim in this paper is not to make a contribution to the interpretative debate about the antinomy. Rather, I want to draw on two lessons from Kant’s treatment of the antinomy to argue for the importance of a certain way of putting the problem of human freedom.
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