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Essays on Kant$
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Henry E. Allison

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199647033

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199647033.001.0001

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: The Antinomy of Pure Reason Section Nine (A515–67/B543–95)

: The Antinomy of Pure Reason Section Nine (A515–67/B543–95)

(p.15) Essay One: The Antinomy of Pure Reason Section Nine (A515–67/B543–95)
Essays on Kant

Henry E. Allison

Oxford University Press

The aim of this essay is to analyze the ninth section of Kant's chapter on the antinomies in the first Critique (Critique of Pure Reason). Inasmuch as Kant discusses the resolution of all four antinomies it was necessary to discuss them all, but the emphasis is on the Third Antinomy, which deals with an apparent contradiction between freedom and causal determinism. The essay analyzes the various steps in Kant's resolution, with special attention to his insistence that the free will problem is “transcendental” rather than “psychological” and the connection between Kant's account of freedom and his conception of rational agency. It argues that Kant is best read as offering a conceptual thesis regarding what is built into the thought of rational agency rather than a metaphysical thesis regarding an inaccessible noumenal self.

Keywords:   antinomy, conceptual, determinism, Critique of Pure Reason, free will, metaphysical, noumenal, psychological, rational agency, self, transcendental

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