The Development of Kant's Conception of Divine Freedom
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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In Brandon Look (ed.), Leibniz and Kant. Oxford University Press (forthcoming)
In his lectures, Kant suggested to his students that the freedom of a divine holy will is “easier to comprehend than that of the human will,”(28:609) but this suggestion has remained neglected. After a review of some of Kant’s familiar claims about the will (in general), and about the divine holy will in particular, I consider how these claims give rise to some initial objections to that conception. Then I defend an interpretation of Kant’s conception of the divine will, and of its historical development in relation to Leibniz and Spinoza, that identifies the content, origin, and role of God’s representations in a way that is responsive to some of the historical and contemporary problems. Finally, I trace a few of the implications of this account of the divine will for our understanding Kant’s account of freedom more generally, including human freedom.
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