Spontaneity in philosophical system of Kant and Leibniz

Metaphysik 8 (22):1-18 (2016)

spontaneity is a key concept of freedom in Kant and Leibniz philosophy. Leibniz defends spontaneity as a necessary condition for freedom, and defines it generally in terms of the absence of constraint. According to Leibniz, every substance is sole cause of all of its own states thus every change that occurs in it occurs spontaneously. Two type of spontaneity in Leibniz is determined by his commentators monadic spontaneity and agent spontaneity. Kant, from the Leibnizian tradition took the idea that spontaneity is not only the inner principle of action but also characterizes the subject as a thinking substance. But Kant explains the spontaneity by introducing two kinds of spontaneity, relative and absolute. The understanding is relatively spontaneous when it refers to an object of experience that must be subsumed under categories. Reason is absolutely spontaneous in legislating, in following and in incorporating moral law but is relatively spontaneous when it is affected by the empirical and heterogeneous elements of sensible nature. the power of judgement is relatively spontaneous when it can refer only to the object of an actual experience.
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