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Kant's Groundwork for the Metaphysics of MoralsA Commentary$
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Henry E. Allison

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199691531

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199691531.001.0001

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The Presupposition of Freedom, the Circle, and the Two Standpoints

The Presupposition of Freedom, the Circle, and the Two Standpoints

Chapter:
(p.301) 11 The Presupposition of Freedom, the Circle, and the Two Standpoints
Source:
Kant's Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals
Author(s):

Henry E. Allison

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199691531.003.0012

This chapter deals with three topics: (1) Kant’s provisional argument for the right to presuppose freedom from the practical point of view; (2) his account of how this appears to lead to a circle; (3) Kant’s avoidance of this circle by distinguishing between two standpoints from which the self can consider itself: as an object of experience, in virtue of which it is a part of the sensible world, and as a free and morally responsible agent, who, so considered, is a member of an intelligible world. After showing that Kant’s argument is not circular but rather begs a question regarding the presupposition of freedom, it is argued that the distinction between the two standpoints both justifies this presupposition and, by the reciprocity thesis, provides a deduction of the moral law.

Keywords:   begging the question, circular argument, intelligible world, practical point of view, presupposition of freedom, sensible world, two standpoints

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