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Philosophy Research Archives

Volume 1, 1975

Ronald F. Perrin
Pages 208-238

Freedom and the World: The Unresolved Dilemma of Kant's Ethic

The paper argues that the issue of the Third Antinomy of Reason (the conflict between the ideas of natural and free causality) remained a central concern throughout all of Kant's ethical writings subsequent to the first Critique. In the Grundlegung, the second and third Critiques and, finally, in Die Religion innerhalb der Grenzen der blossen Vernunft we find Kant continually refining and modifying the concept of a transcendental freedom but never arriving at a satisfactory resolution. I argue that any such resolution (such as that attempted by Professor Silber through an analysis of Kant's explication of Wille and Willkur) would not only imply the overturning of Kant's ethical philosophy but the entire Kantian system insofar as it stands astride the twin pillars of phenomenal and noumenal reality.

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