Essay on Kant on Free Will

Essay on Kant on Free Will

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Do humans truly have free will or are their lives completely predetermined? This question of free will has and will always remain to be a place for argument in philosophy. Many of the great philosophers attempted to answer this question, but none did as well of a job as Immanuel Kant. He lays the basis of his argument in his Prolegomena to any Future Metaphysics. Kant writes this prolegomena in response to David Hume’s of skepticism, and therefore, Kant is attempting to more firmly ground metaphysics. In the introduction Kant says, “I openly confess my recollection of David Hume was the very thing which many years ago first interrupted my dogmatic slumber and gave my investigations in the field of speculative philosophy a quite new direction” (Prolegomena). Kant makes a move towards critical philosophy versus skepticism. Kant was opposed to the concept that knowledge is gained through experience, which is essentially Hume’s platform. Kant attempts to use rationalism and empiricism to do this. His prolegomena was designed to make his philosophies more accessible to the general public. Further into his writing, Kant makes four theses, the third of which forms the argument for free will. “Thesis: There are in the world causes through freedom. Antithesis: There is no freedom, but all is nature” (Prolegomena). The argument being that we act in accordance with our own free will, versus the claim that everything we do is determined by nature. Nearly 250 years later this remains to be the central argument for or against free will.
Kant begins to explain his theses and when he reaches the third he says, “Now I may say without contradiction that all the actions of rational beings, so far as they are appearances (met with in an...

... middle of paper ...

...ughly covers a difficult topic attempting to answer a difficult question. So once again, yes humans do have free will; it is an essential characteristic of human beings.

Works Cited
Cherkasova, Evgenia V.. "Kant on Free Will and Arbitrariness: A View from
Dostoevsky's Underground." Philosophy and Literature: 367-378. Print.
Kant, Immanuel, and Lewis W. Beck. Prolegomena to any future metaphysics. New
York London: Macmillan Collier Macmillan, 1950. Print.
Kant, Immanuel, Allen W. Wood, and J. B. Schneewind. Groundwork for the
metaphysics of morals. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002. Print.
Kant, Immanuel, Theodore M. Greene, and Hoyt H. Hudson. Religion within the limits
of reason alone. New York: HarperOne, 2008. Print.
Tenenbaum, Sergio. "The Idea of Freedom and Moral Cognition in Groundwork III."
Philosophy and Phenomenological Research: no-no. Print.

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