We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham e-Theses
You are in:

The sources of real agency: Kant on the metaphysics of freedom and life

RODRIGUEZ-GONZALEZ, ALVARO (2023) The sources of real agency: Kant on the metaphysics of freedom and life. Masters thesis, Durham University.

PDF (The sources of real agency. Kant on the metaphysics of freedom and life pdf) - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-SA).



The role of Kant’s Critique of Judgment in his overall theory of freedom has been largely confined to making room for the possibility of the realization of our ultimate moral goals in the world. While this is a central task Kant endeavoured to address with the third Critique, that work had a more overreaching impact in his general metaphysical picture of nature, which is instrumental in making sense of the core tenets of his theory of freedom. In this dissertation, I argue that Kant’s solution to what I term the real agency problem, namely, how actions that are determined by the laws of nature can be nevertheless said to be freely caused by agents, is riddled with problems unless we incorporate the requirements brought by the power of judgment into it. I argue that, according to Kant, judgment compels us to posit a purposive ground of nature that accounts for the necessity of empirical laws, and in such a way that the causality of organisms can be made possible. By doing so, we gain a warrant to judge human beings as intelligibly grounded. Insofar as humans exhibit rational behaviour, this opens a space to our judging them as having an intelligible character which grounds actions as freely caused. Thus, the new insights provided by the third Critique are instrumental in understanding Kant’s metaphysics of freedom.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Keywords:Kant; philosophy of action; philosophy of biology; freedom; agency; critique of judgment
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Philosophy, Department of
Thesis Date:2023
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:27 Feb 2024 10:19

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitter