Thursday Night Philosophy Workshop: Patricia Kitcher on “Kant on Freedom in Thought and Action"
Thursday, December 14, 2017 at 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Wolff Conference Room, Albert and Vera List Academic Center 6 East 16th Street, New York, NY 10003, Room D1103
Patricia Kitcher is Roberta and William Campbell Professor of the Humanities and Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University. She is the author of two books on Kant’s conceptions of cognition and the self, Kant’s Transcendental Psychology (Oxford University Press, 1990) and Kant’s Thinker (Oxford University Press, 2011).
Kant tried to explain how free moral action was possible. Unfortunately, he is often interpreted as explaining free choice of action in terms of the unexplained free choice of a Gesinnung by a faculty of choice. By avoiding this mistake, we can see him as offering an informative decomposition of the task of free or moral action. Further, one of Kant’s reasons for thinking that morality could not be explained by science depended on his assumptions about then current science. Since we can now reject that view of science, it is now possible to give a plausible scientific account, and so metaphysics, for Kant’s plausible account of the necessary conditions for free or moral action.
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