Volume 12, 2018
Edgard José Jorge Filho
Concerning the Proof of Freedom in Kant
In the Preface to the Critique of Practical Reason Kant claims to afford a proof of the objective reality of transcendental freedom, which can be found in the Analytic of this work. However, the Transcendental Dialectic of the Critique of Pure Reason had already established the impossibility of a legitimate theoretical proof of that reality. So, in this study I attempt to interpret the proof developed in the second Critique as a practical one. I consider, first, that this proof would not be a theoretical transcendental deduction. Then, I investigate what might be a practical proof, by means of inquiring into its conditions and their fulfillment. One of these conditions would require the reference of the Idea of freedom to an object not as a possible datum, but as a possible accomplishment of pure practical reason. A strong candidate for this object would be the feeling of respect for the law, whose origin is pure. Finally, I argue that the supposed practical proof of freedom is inconclusive.