Freedom in Kant's Critical Philosophy: The Keystone of Pure Reason



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The objective of my thesis was to examine Kant's concept of freedom and the role that it plays in his Critical philosophy. Each section deals with an interpretive or theoretical problem concerning freedom in the context of one of Kant's Critiques. In Section 2, I focus the Critique of Practical Reason and I argue that transcendental freedom is a crucial premise in Kant?s deduction of the moral law. In Section 3, I turn to the Critique of Pure Reason, where Kant claims that transcendental idealism is the theoretical apparatus that allows us to understand the compatibility of freedom and determinism. Because the first Critique lays the foundation for the rest of the Critical project, I try to develop a reading of this text that can sustain the viability of Kant's concept of freedom. In Section 4, I look to the Critique of the Power of Judgment, which Kant wrote in order to bridge the gap between nature, as it was described in the first Critique and freedom, as it was developed in the second Critique. Kant's teleological account of nature, which subordinates nature to the moral use of freedom, bridges the gap between nature and freedom by providing an account of how nature can realize the objective end of practical reason, viz., the highest good.