Practical Action – First Critique Foundations

In Margit Ruffing, Claudio La Rocca, Alfredo Ferrarin & Stefano Bacin (eds.), Kant Und Die Philosophie in Weltbürgerlicher Absicht: Akten des Xi. Kant-Kongresses 2010. De Gruyter. pp. 495-538 (2010)
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Both European and Anglo-American philosophical traditions of Kant scholarship draw a sharp distinction between Kant’s theoretical and practical philosophies. They cite KrV, A 14.23 –28; KrV, A 15.01– 09; KrV, B 28.22 – 28; KrV, B 29.01 –12 as evidence that the analyses of intuition, understanding and reason proffered in the first Critique apply to cognition only, and therefore do not significantly illuminate his analyses of inclination, desire, or respect for the moral law in the Groundwork, second Critique, Metaphysics of Morals, or Religion. This paper is part of a larger project that takes issue with this near-universal consensus, and with the canonical interpretation of KrV, A 14.23– 28; KrV, A 15.01 –09; KrV,B 28.22 –28; KrV, B 29.01 – 12. Many of the most important terms in Kant’s mature moral philosophy – such as “action,” “reason,” “freedom,” “will,” “categorical,” “imperative,” “ought,” “maxim,” “duty,” “inclination,” “end,” and “idea” – are introduced, and sometimes elaborated at length, in the first Critique; and often appear in the Groundwork with little or no further elaboration. This suggests that Kant intended the analysis of self and rationality in the first Critique to serve as a formal foundation for his subsequent analysis of practical deliberation and moral motivation in the Groundwork. Here I argue specifically that Kant’s use of the first-/third-person asymmetry in his analysis of action in the first Critique’s Resolution of the Third Antinomy is necessary to his account of moral motivation and moral intention in the Groundwork; and that the structure of pure apperception he offers in the Transcendental Deduction resolves this asymmetry.
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