Kant and the Law of Peace: A Study in the Philosophy of by Charles Covell (auth.)

By Charles Covell (auth.)

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T]hat the principle of autonomy in question is the sole principle of morals can be readily shown by mere analysis of the conceptions of morality. 35 Kant's discussion of the autonomy of the will was such as to bring him to address the metaphysical question of the freedom of the will. In addressing the question, he set out a solution to the problem which he had posed with his statement of the third antinomy of pure reason. This was the problem of the contradiction between freedom, considered as a distinct form of causality, and determinism, considered as causality in accordance with the laws of nature.

In addressing the question, he set out a solution to the problem which he had posed with his statement of the third antinomy of pure reason. This was the problem of the contradiction between freedom, considered as a distinct form of causality, and determinism, considered as causality in accordance with the laws of nature. In its essentials, Kant's answer to the problem consisted in the argument that practical reason, and the conditions for its exercise, were such that the human agent could conceive of himself and his own actions only in accordance with the idea or presupposition of freedom.

As objectively necessary. Since every practical law represents a possible action as good, and on this account, for a subject who is practically determinable by reason, necessary, all imperatives are formulae determining an action which is necessary according to the principle of a will good in some respects. If now the action is good only as a means to something else, then the imperative is hypothetical; if it is conceived as good in itself and consequently as being necessarily the principle of 14 a will which of itself conforms to reason, then it is categorical.

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