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A Freewheeling Defense of Kant's Resolution of the Third Antinomy

Author(s): Todd D. Janke

Journal: Kritike : An Online Journal of Philosophy
ISSN 1908-7330

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 110;
Date: 2008;
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Keywords: Immanuel Kant | Critique of Pure Reason | third antinomy

In the Critique of Pure Reason, in a chapter of the Transcendental Dialectic entitled "The Antinomy of Pure Reason," Kant addresses the question whether a thoroughgoing mechanistic determinism is reconcilable with the ascription of free agency to human beings. In the third antinomy, reason is shown to be divided against itself insofar as both of two competing, and seemingly irreconcilable claims, can be justified on independent grounds; on the one hand, the claim that everything in nature proceeds according to the law of causality - that every event is determined by antecedent events and causal laws; on the other hand, the claim that agents act freely, i.e., that there are some occurrences, namely human actions, which cannot be accounted for by antecedent states or events and causal laws.

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