Critically discuss Kant's understanding of freedom.
"The concept of freedom is the stone of stumbling for all empiricists, but at the same time the key to the loftiest practical principles for critical moralists, who perceive by its means that they must necessarily proceed by a rational method." .
---- Kant, Critique of Practical Reason, Preface.
Immanuel Kant was born in 1724 in Konigsberg, Germany. He is undeniably one of the most influential philosophers in the realm of moral and political thinking. .
Kant learned his philosophy in the German university system, which was dominated by the thought of Christian Wolff, himself a follower of Leibniz and the empiricism of David Hume. His greatest work ""Critique of Pure Reason"" is a synthesis of rationalism and empiricisnm both of which in themselves , he believed , gave a one sided view of knowledge. However, his writings was not on one sided subject, from science to mathematics to philosophy and politics. One of his work "Metaphysical Ground- Kant claims the commitment of categorical imperative is objective. The idea of freedom is not only demanded by a sense of duty , but it also compatrible with the law of casuality. . Man as a phenomenal being is casually determined, but as a noumenal being he is free. Meaning; man cannot know what his freedom is but he knows that he is free. .
In "Critique of Pure Reason", Kant advanced his theory on freedom into a level where we should consider ourselves as robots : the law of cause and effect, the law of causation, and the moral law. In fact, the doctrine of determinism. Is it reasonable to believe that our actions are fully determined by the law of cause and effect? and What we experience are not as far as we can know, characteristics of those things as they are in themselves? In other words, we are bound by the moral law. If the answer is yes, the question is, What about free will? Aren't we free to exercise our decisions, actions according to our own free will? The main purpose of this essay is to critically discuss Kant's understanding of freedom.