The Pre-Critical Roots of Kant’s Compatibilism

Philosophy and Theology 19 (1/2):197-213 (2007)
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Although other scholars have pointed out why reading Kant as a compatibilist is superior to interpreting him as a libertarian incompatibilist, the infancy of his unique compatibilism has not been amply addressed. Here I marshal evidence from Kant’s pre-critical works to demonstrate that what the pre-critical Kant calls ‘freedom’ is consistent with what Kant will later call ‘autonomy.’ Once a pre-critical version of autonomy is acknowledged, one will see that both the positive and negative formulations of freedom that pervade the critical philosophy are latent in the pre-critical period.



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