On the Transcendental Freedom of the Intellect

Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 7:35-104 (2020)
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Kant holds that the applicability of the moral ‘ought’ depends on a kind of agent-causal freedom that is incompatible with the deterministic structure of phenomenal nature. I argue that Kant understands this determinism to threaten not just morality but the very possibility of our status as rational beings. Rational beings exemplify “cognitive control” in all of their actions, including not just rational willing and the formation of doxastic attitudes, but also more basic cognitive acts such as judging, conceptualizing, and synthesizing.

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Colin McLear
University of Nebraska, Lincoln


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