Kant’s transcendental freedom

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Department of Philosophy, Turkey

Approval Date: 2015


Supervisor: BARIŞ PARKAN


The aim of this study is to initiate a discussion on the reconciliation of freedom and natural causality in Immanuel Kant’s major work Critique of Pure Reason. In the Third Antinomy, Kant problematizes transcendental freedom as the reason of the conflict between causality of freedom and of nature. While the thesis of the Third Antinomy claims that transcendental freedom does not contradict natural causality, the antithesis of the Third Antinomy claims that it contradicts natural causality in the field of appearances. Kant’s solution to the Third Antinomy is transcendental idealism, which makes a division between appearances as the settlement of natural causality, and things in themselves as the settlement of freedom. However, transcendental idealism cannot solve the conflict in the cosmological context of the Third Antinomy. It merely shows that though transcendental freedom is not causally possible in the field of appearances, it is logically possible to think transcendental freedom as a regulative idea of reason outside the field of appearances. Transcendental freedom as a regulative idea makes it possible to conceive practical freedom. Therefore, Kant makes a further division between empirical and intelligible characters in order to solve the problem in the practical context through a theory of rational agency. This study constitutes an attempt to consider the role of transcendental freedom in uniting empirical and intelligible characters in one and the same self to show whether freedom and natural causality are compatible or not.