Freedom and ethical necessity

Deligiorgi, Katerina (2021) Freedom and ethical necessity. In: Clarke, James A and Gottlieb, Gabriel (eds.) Practical philosophy from Kant and Hegel: freedom, right, and revolution. Cambridge University Press, pp. 28-44. ISBN 9781108497725

[img] PDF - Accepted Version
Restricted to SRO admin only

Download (161kB)


The paper examines critical arguments presented by Johann August Heinrich Ulrich in his 1788 book Eleutheriology or On Freedom and Necessity against Kant’s conception of transcendental freedom and the categorical nature of moral imperatives. Historically, Ulrich's criticism of transcendental freedom is of interest partly for its novel interpretation of the principle of sufficient reason and partly for the use he makes of it in presenting an early version of the so-called problem of luck, which features centrally in the contemporary discussion of libertarian accounts of freedom. Structurally, Ulrich’s criticisms cleverly target the delicate balance Kant seeks to establish between transcendental freedom and the moral “ought” and help bring into view the relations between practical and theoretical claims in Kant’s defense of transcendental freedom. I argue that a Kantian response to Ulrich’s criticism of transcendental freedom is possible and that the basis for Ulrich’s rejection of Kantian categoricity – a naturalistic conception of ethical necessity – is flawed. By the same token, however, I show the importance of Ulrich’s book when it comes to engaging with Kant’s philosophy.

Item Type: Book Section
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > Philosophy
Depositing User: Paige Thompson
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2018 10:41
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2021 12:23

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update