David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
British Journal for the History of Philosophy 18 (1):45-71 (2010)
In this paper, I discuss a problem for Kant's strategy of appealing to the agent qua noumenon to undermine the significance of determinism in his theory of free will. I then propose a solution. The problem is as follows: given determinism, how can some agent qua noumenon be 'the cause of the causality' of the appearances of that agent qua phenomenon without being the cause of the entire empirical causal series? This problem has been identified in the literature (Ralph Walker provides what is perhaps the most dramatic presentation of it). But it has never received an adequate solution. In this paper, I argue that Walker’s objection is only decisive if we must understand our responsibility as responsibility for events, but not causal laws. I argue that we need not interpret Kant's theory in this way. I demonstrate that each agent qua noumenon could be responsible for "limited instantiation scope" causal laws which necessitate only the phenomenal actions of that same agent qua phenomenon. Part of this project involves showing that there are relevant constituents of actions which are "rare" enough to instantiate such laws. I demonstrate that, on Kant's view, events in agents’ bodies are not rare enough, but events in agents’ phenomenal souls are.
|Keywords||Kant free will incompatibilism causal laws determinism noumena agent causation intelligible character moral responsibility freedom|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Henry E. Allison (2004). Kant's Transcendental Idealism. Yale University Press.
Rae Langton (1998). Kantian Humility: Our Ignorance of Things in Themselves. Oxford University Press.
Henry E. Allison (1990). Kant's Theory of Freedom. Cambridge University Press.
Eric Watkins (2005). Kant and the Metaphysics of Causality. Cambridge University Press.
Henry E. Allison (1996). Idealism and Freedom: Essays on Kant's Theoretical and Practical Philosophy. Cambridge University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Benjamin Vilhauer (2013). Persons, Punishment, and Free Will Skepticism. Philosophical Studies 162 (2):143-163.
Similar books and articles
Shaun Nichols (2004). The Folk Psychology of Free Will: Fits and Starts. Mind and Language 19 (5):473-502.
Markus E. Schlosser (2008). Agent-Causation and Agential Control. Philosophical Explorations 11 (1):3-21.
Christopher Evan Franklin (2011). The Problem of Enhanced Control. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (4):687 - 706.
Meghan E. Griffith (2005). Does Free Will Remain a Mystery? A Response to Van Inwagen. Philosophical Studies 124 (3):261-269.
Patrick Francken (1993). Incompatibilism, Nondeterministic Causation, and the Real Problem of Free Will. Journal of Philosophical Research 18:37-63.
Thomas Sturm (2011). Freedom and the Human Sciences: Hume’s Science of Man Versus Kant’s Pragmatic Anthropology. Kant Yearbook 3 (1):23-42.
Jonathan Bennett (1984). Kant's Theory of Freedom. In Allen W. Wood (ed.), Self and Nature in Kant's Philosophy. Cornell University Press
Meghan Griffith (2007). Freedom and Trying: Understanding Agent-Causal Exertions. [REVIEW] Acta Analytica 22 (1):16-28.
Derk Pereboom (2005). Defending Hard Incompatibilism. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 29 (1):228-247.
Benjamin Vilhauer (2004). Can We Interpret Kant as a Compatibilist About Determinism and Moral Responsibility? British Journal for the History of Philosophy 12 (4):719 – 730.
Added to index2010-07-27
Total downloads47 ( #71,229 of 1,724,892 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #167,174 of 1,724,892 )
How can I increase my downloads?