Critique (2017)

Wolfgang Ertl
Keio University
Insole claims that the Critical Kant is by and large a mere conservationist, transcendental-idealistically modified through the distinction between things in themselves and appearances. ‘Mere conservationism’ is a position within the debate about the interplay of God as the first cause and the created entities as secondary causes and belongs to the doctrine of divine concursus. For Insole, it is by virtue of this mere conservationism with regard to things in themselves as opposed to appearances, that transcendental freedom of man, required in turn for Kant’s moral theory to prevail, can be upheld. I shall be focusing on two points of disagreement. These concern the so-called compatibility question regarding the threats emerging from God to human freedom. In my view, it is doubtful (i) whether, in this regard, Kant really attempted to establish that human freedom in the strong form required can be upheld by subscribing to mere conservationism regarding things in themselves in the manner Insole suggests, and whether Kant is successful in this attempt. Moreover, (ii) it is not obvious that a so-called ‘concurrentist’ view, i.e. a view according to which God’s causal activities with regard to the world exceed creation and conservation, would commit Kant to a compatibilist view in a more conventional sense.
Keywords Kant  Theological Determinism  Compatibilism  Concurrentism  Molina
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