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CHAPTER III.: DILUCIDATION OF THE FOREGOING ANALYTIC.—ON FREEDOM AND NECESSITY. - Immanuel Kant, The Metaphysics of Ethics 
The Metaphysics of Ethics by Immanuel Kant, trans. J.W. Semple, ed. with Iintroduction by Rev. Henry Calderwood (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1886) (3rd edition).
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DILUCIDATION OF THE FOREGOING ANALYTIC.—ON FREEDOM AND NECESSITY.
BY the critical dilucidation of a science, or of a portion of it, I understand the inquiring and showing why it must assume precisely this and no other form when contrasted with some other system based on a like power of knowledge. Now the Practical Reason and Speculative are at bottom identic, in so far as both are pure reason; whence it will result, that the difference obtaining betwixt their systematic forms will be found, as to its last ground, by comparing them both together.
The analytic of pure Theoretic Reason was conversant with the knowledge of objects given to the understanding, and so began at the intuitions; and since intuition is always sensitive, it started with the sensory, and arrived next at the notions (of the objects of intuition), and so, after premising both, ended with the principles. But since, on the contrary, Practical Reason is not occupied about the knowledge of objects, but about her own power to make such objects real, i.e., with a will, which is a cause so far forth as reason contains in itself the ground of its determination, and so has consequently to treat of no object of intuition, but of a law (because it is of the very essence of the notion causality to refer to law, fixing and determining the relative existence of the multifarious), a Critique of Practical Reason has, upon these grounds (if it is to be a practical reason at all), to set out with the possibility of practical principles à priori. Thence we descended to notions of the objects of a practical reason, viz., to the notions of the good and evil,* in order to assign them conformably to those principles (for it is impossible, prior to such principles, to fix by any power of knowledge what is good or evil); and then, only then, could the last chapter conclude by investigating the relation obtaining betwixt pure practical reason and the sensory, and the necessary effect, cognisable à priori thereon, which effect we called the moral sense. Thus the analytic of pure practical reason is divided quite analogously to the theoretical, throughout the whole extent of the conditions of its use, but in a reverse order. The analytic of pure theoretic reason was divided into Æsthetics and Logic; that of practical, again, invertedly into Logic and Æsthetics of Pure Practical Reason, if I may be allowed to misapply these words, merely for the sake of the analogy: there, Logic branched out into the analytic of notions and then of principles; but here, into that of principles and then of notions. There Æsthetics had two parts, owing to the twofold sorts of sensitive intuition; here the sensory is not regarded as the intuitive faculty, but as a bare feeling (fit to become the subjective ground of desire), which, however, is not susceptible of any further subdivision.
Further, that this division into two under-parts (as might have been expected, from the instance of the former Critique) was not attempted by me in this work, arose from this special ground. For since it is practical reason we are talking of, which begins with a principle à priori, and not with experimental determinators, it follows that the division of the analytic of pure practical reason will be like that of a syllogism, viz., first, the universal in the major (the moral principle); second, a subsumption in the minor, of possible acts, as good or bad; and then, lastly, the conclusion, when we advance to the subjective determinator of the will (an interest in the practically-possible good, and the maxim based on such interest). Such comparisons will infallibly gratify those who are convinced of the truth of the position laid down in the analytic; for they nourish the expectation that we may one day attain a thorough insight into the unity of the whole rational faculty, and be able to deduce it all from one principle, an unavoidable demand made by human reason, which finds only in a completely systematic unity of its knowledge, rest and satisfaction.
If now we consider further the content of the knowledge we possess, either concerning, or by means of pure practical reason, as just expounded in the analytic, then there are observable, notwithstanding the marvellous analogy obtaining betwixt them, no less extraordinary and signal differences. Theoretic reason was able to exhibit the power of pure rational knowledge à priori, easily and evidently by examples of the sciences; but that pure reason, without any admixture of experimental grounds, could be for itself practical, behoved to be exhibited by the common practical use of every man’s reason, whereby to authenticate the supreme practical principle, as one which every common reason recognised as quite à priori, independent on any sensitive data, and the supreme law of the will. It was necessary to this end, first to establish and evince this principle, quoad the purity of its origin, by the judgment of the most common reason, before science could receive it, or make any use of it; just like a fact, antecedent to all quibbling about its possibility, or about the results possible to be extracted from it. This circumstance, however, could easily be explained from what has been just alleged, since practical reason must of necessity begin with principles, which, as data, were to lie at the bottom of all science, and so could not be derived from it; and the justification of the moral principles, as positions of pure reason, could very well be managed by an appeal to the judgment of mankind’s common sense; because everything experimental, which could insinuate itself as a determinator into our maxims, becomes forthwith perceptible by the feeling of pleasure or pain, inevitably attaching to it, so far forth as it excites desire; whereas that pure practical principle directly counterworks all such, and refuses to adopt any feeling, as a condition, into its principle. The dissimilarity of the determinators (experimental or rational) is pointed out so prominently, and in such relief—when this antagonism of a practically-legislative reason withstands every appetite—by a peculiar kind of sensation, not antecedent to the legislation of practical reason, but rather effectuated alone by it, viz., the feeling of reverence, the which no man has for any appetite, be they of what kind they may, but has invariably for law, that no one of the most common understanding can fail, on the instant, to become aware, in any example, that he may indeed be advised to follow an experimental stimulant of volition, but that it cannot be expected he should be required to obey anywhat except reason’s pure practical law.
To distinguish betwixt utilitarianism and morality, where experimental principles are the foundation of the first, and no part at all of the foundation of the second, is the prime and the weighty business of the analytic of pure practical reason, and imposes on the author a procedure as punctual and painful as is the method in geometry. And here the philosopher stands in pretty much the same situation as the chemist, for he institutes at all times an experiment with every man’s practical reason, in order to separate the pure (moral) determinator from the experimental. Suppose that he superadd to the will of one sensitively affected (who would like to lie, because somewhat may be earned by it), the moral law. Then it is as when the experimenter adds an alkali to a solution of muriate of lime: the acid deserts the lime, combines with the alkali, and the earth is precipitated. In like manner, present to an honest man the moral law, by which standard he observes the vileness of a liar, and his practical reason deserts straightway the prospect of advantage, and combines itself with that which upholds for him the reverence for his own person.
But this distinction betwixt utility and morality is not in anywise their contrariety; and pure practical reason does not by any means demand that the claim to happiness be abandoned, but only, whenever question is made as to duty, that then no account at all be made of it. Nay, it in some cases may be a duty to look sharp after one’s own happiness, partly because the elements of happiness (skill, health, wealth) contain means toward the execution of duty, partly because the want of them (e.g., poverty) may present temptations to transgress the law. However, to study one’s own happiness never can be dutiful directly and still less a principle of duty. Again, since every determinator of will, except the single moral law, is experimental, and as such pertains to the utilitarian system, it results that all these must be detached from the supreme ethical principle, and never welded up with it as a condition; since this would destroy all moral worth, just as any tentative experimenting with geometric theorems would annihilate their self-evidencing certainty—the chief pre-eminency (according to Plato) which the mathematics have; an excellency to be prized higher than any utility to which geometry may accidentally conduce.
Out of and beyond a deduction of the supreme principle of pure practical reason, i.e., the explanation of the possibility of such à priori knowledge, nothing further could be done except to state, that if we could comprehend the possibility of the freedom of an active cause, then we should comprehend not only the possibility, but likewise the very necessity of the moral law, i.e., of the supreme practical law of Intelligents, to whom freedom of causality of will is ascribed; both notions being so inseparably linked together, that freedom might be defined by saying that it is independency on everything except the moral law itself. But the freedom of an active cause, especially of a cause acting in upon the world of phenomena, cannot be comprehended, even as to its possibility; and we must deem ourselves happy that its impossibility cannot be evinced, and that we are necessitated by the law which postulates this freedom, and so entitled, to assume it.* But as there are some who still think they can explain this freedom by help of observation and experience, like any other physical energy, and regard it as a mere psychological quality, whereof the exposition rests singly on a more sifting scrutiny into the springs of will, not as the unconditioned and supersensible predicate of the causality of an agent appertaining at the same time to the sensible world (on which last it alone depends); and since these philosophasters do by such assumption cut short the vista gloriously afforded us by pure practical reason, through the intervention of the moral law (viz., the vista into a cogitable world,—alone realizing to us the otherwise transcendent notion Freedom, and by consequence the moral law itself), it will be requisite to adduce a few remarks, as a guard against this quackery, and to show it up in its full nakedness and deformity.
The notion Causality, considered as involving that of necessary mechanism, and contradistinguished from the same notion as that of freedom, concerns only the existence of things, so far forth as they are determinable in time, i.e., as phenomena, and so is different from their causation, as things-in-themselves; so that if now we mistake (as is most commonly done) the determinations of the existence of things-in-time, for determinations of the existence of things-in-themselves, then the necessity cogitated in the causal-nexus can never be brought into harmony with freedom, but they remain stated the one contrary to the other; for from the first can be inferred, that every event, and therefore every action, exhibitive in time, is necessary, under the conditions of what happened in some prior time: and since time elapsed, and its contents are no longer within my power, it will follow that every action which I perform is necessary by force of determining grounds no longer within my power, i.e., I am, at any point of time wherein I act, never free. Nay, even were I to assume my whole existence, as independent on any foreign grounds (e.g., God), so that the determinators of my causality, and even of my whole existence, did not lie out of and beyond myself, still all this could not transmute the mechanical necessity of the physical system into freedom. For at each point of time I should always stand under the necessity of being determined to act, by somewhat no longer within my power, and the à parte priori infinite series of events would still be a standing chain of natural sequents which I could only continue, not commence; and so my causality never would be free.
If, then, we ascribe to an Intelligent, whose existence is determined in time, freedom, still we cannot upon that account exempt him from the law of physical necessity regulating all events in his existence, and so also all his actions, for that would be to hand them over to blind chance; but since this law infallibly refers to all causality of things, so far as their existence is determinable in time, it would follow that freedom behoved to be rejected as a blank and impossible idea, were this the mode according to which we had to cogitate the existence of these things-in-themselves. Are we then seriously intent on rescuing this freedom, there remains this only mode, to attribute to the existence of things-in-time, i.e., to the phenomenon, a causality according to the law of the mechanic-nexus, and to attribute to it freedom as a thing-in-itself; and this is our inevitable ultimatum, if we wish to preserve the two contrary notions; although even then there present themselves very formidable difficulties, when we try to explain how they can be combined in one and the same action; nay, difficulties so great as would seem to lead us to infer that any such combination must be impracticable.*
If I say of any man who has just perpetrated a theft, that the act was a necessary result, from determinators contained in the antecedent time, according to the law of the causal-nexus, then it was impossible that the act should not have happened; how then can any judgment, according to the moral law, change this opinion, and beget the supposition that the act might nevertheless have been left undone, simply because the law says it ought so to have been avoided? i.e., how can any man, at the very same point of time, and with regard to the same action, be quite free, when he is under an inevitable necessity of nature? To seek an evasion in this, by fitting on a comparative notion of freedom to the mode in which man’s causality is determined by the laws of nature, is a wretched subterfuge, by which, however, some still suffer themselves to be deluded; and an intricate problem, at whose solution centuries have laboured, is not to be figured as solved by a mere jargon of words, since it is not likely, in any event, that the solution lies so near the surface. The inquiry after that freedom, which lies at the bottom of the moral law, and of our accountability, does not depend on this,—whether the causality governed by a law of nature be determined by grounds within or without the person? nor yet on this, whether—on the former supposition—the determination be necessary by force of instinct or of reason? so long as, agreeably to the confession of such supposers, these determining representations have the ground of their existence in time, and in its elapsed state, and so backwards to prior and antecedent states of time. For, be those determinations ever so inward, and be their causality called ever so psychological instead of mechanical, i.e., though such causality produce its act by dint of perceptions, and not by motion or matter, still such are determinations of the causality of an agent, so far forth as his existence is determinable in time: consequently, determinations rendered necessary by conditions contained in prior times, which are therefore, when the subject comes to act, no longer in his power; and such psychological freedom is in nowise to be distinguished from physical necessity. No room is left for transcendental freedom, which must be cogitated as independency on the whole physical system, whether as object of the internal senses merely in time, or as also object of the external senses both in space and time at once; apart from which freedom, which alone is à priori practical, no moral law and no responsibility can be supported. On these accounts, the necessity of events in time, agreeably to the law of the causal-nexus, is part of the mechanism of nature, although we do not assert that the things affected by such necessary nexus are material machines. Regard is in such denomination had only to the sequences of events in time, whether the subject in which such flux occur be automaton materiale, or, as Leibnitz had it, spirituale, impelled by perceptions; for, in truth, were the freedom of our will of this comparative and psychological sort only, then it were no more than the freedom of a turnspit, which, once wound up, continues of itself in motion.
Now, to clear up this seeming antagonism between the mechanism of nature, and freedom in one and the same given action, we must refer to what was advanced in the Critique of Pure Reason, or what at least is a corollary from it, viz., that that necessity of nature, which may not consort with the freedom of the subject, attaches singly to the modifications of a thing standing under conditions of time,i.e.,to the modifications of the acting subject as phenomenon; and that, therefore, so far (i.e., as phenomenon) the determinators of each act lie in the foregoing elapsed time, and are quite beyond his power (part of which are the actions man has already performed, and the phenomenal character he has given himself in his own eyes), yet, e contra,the self-same subject, being self-conscious of itself as a thing in itself, considers its existence as somewhat, detached from conditions of time, and itself, so far forth, as only determinable by laws given it by its own reason; and in this existence nothing precedes its own voluntary act, every action, and generally every determination of its being, changing conformably to its internal sense; nay, the entire series of its existence as a sensible being, is, in its consciousness of an intelligible cogitable existence, nothing but a mere sequent of its causality, never its determinator, as noumenon.* Under this aspect, an Intelligent may rightly say of every illegal act he perpetrates, he could very well have omitted it, although such act is as phenomenon sufficiently determined by the elapsed in time, and so far forth infallibly necessary; for this act, together with all prior ones, belong to one single phenomenon, his character, which character he has begotten for himself, and by force of which he, as a cause, independent on all sense, imputes to himself the causality of these phenomena.
In accordance with this are the decrees of that marvellous power within us which we call Conscience. A man may try never so much to paint some immoral conduct, which memory reminds him of, as unpremeditated accident, as a mere incaution, never at all times to be avoided, and so as somewhat where he was hurried forward by the stream of necessity, and wherein by consequence he was guiltless; but still, notwithstanding, he finds that the advocate who pleads in his behalf can by no means bring his inward accuser into silence, so long as he is conscious that at the time when he perpetrated the injustice he was master of his senses (i.e., free): although he even then explains to himself his crime from sundry bad habits entailed through want of active attention to himself,—habits which he had suffered to augment up to that degree that he can regard the act as their natural result, without being able thereby to escape the self-reproach and blame he is forced to put upon himself. On this part of our nature is bottomed the contrition felt for a long-committed deed, on every recollection of it; which compunction is a painful feeling, begotten by the moral sentiment, and is so far practically void, as it cannot serve to make the done undone, and would even be absurd (as Priestley, like a consistent fatalist, has asserted), were it not that it, as pain, is quite legitimate,—reason knowing no relations of time, when question is made as to the law (moral) of our cogitable existence, but inquiring singly if the event belongs to me as my act, and then connecting with it ethically just the same sensation whether it happened now or long ago. For a man’s sentient existence is, in respect of his intelligible consciousness of existence (freedom), the absolute unity of one phenomenon, which, so far forth as it contains what are only phenomena of his sentiments, he judges of, not according to that necessity he is fettered by, as a part of the physical system, but according to the absolute spontaneity of his freedom. It may therefore be very well admitted, that could we have so deep an insight into a man’s cast of thinking, as it exhibits itself in inward and outward act,—that could we know every the smallest spring, and at the same time every external circumstance impinging upon such spring, — that then we could calculate a man’s future conduct with the same exactness with which we now compute eclipses, and still affirm that such man was free.
Were we capable of an intellectual intuition of this self-same subject, we should then observe, that this whole chain of appearances, so far forth as the moral law is concerned, emanates from the spontaneity of the subject, as a thing-in-himself, of whose determinations no physical explanation is at all possible. In default, however, of such intuition, the moral law assures us of the actuality of this distinction, when we refer our acts as phenomena to the sensitive existence of the subject, and when, on the other hand, we refer the sensitive itself to the cogitable substratum within us. A reference to this distinction which is natural to reason, although quite inexplicable, enables us to justify opinions uttered with the greatest conscientiousness, and which yet, at their first appearance, seem repugnant to all equity. There are cases where individuals from youth up, notwithstanding an education whereby others have been benefited, show so early a wickedness, and persist in it up to man’s estate, that one may be led to deem them innate villains, and declare their whole cast of thinking unsusceptible of any amelioration; and yet, at the same time, so condemn them in everything they compass or avoid, as if they continued as responsible as any other person, notwithstanding that hopeless quality of mind attributed to them. But this could not happen, did we not suppose that everything arising from man’s choice depended on a free causality at bottom, which causality impresses, from youth up, its character upon the phenomena: these phenomena do by their uniformity make a sequence in the physical system visible, but do not make the wicked quality of will necessary, but rather such sequence follows the freely adopted evil and unchanging maxims, which do therefore make him the more reprobate and the more blameworthy.
But another difficulty attends freedom, so far as it is to be regarded as combined in harmony with the mechanism of the physical system, in the person of a being who is himself a part of that system; a difficulty so great, as even, when all the foregoing is admitted, threatens freedom with its entire destruction. But, notwithstanding this danger, there is a circumstance which gives hope of an exit issuing in favour of freedom, viz., the circumstance that the same difficulty presses upon every other, nay, as we shall soon see, presses alone upon that theory which takes the entities in time and space for existences of things in themselves; and so we need not depart from our main theory regarding the ideality of time as a mere form of sensitive intuition, i.e., as a mere mode of perceiving, peculiar to a person who is part of a sensible world, but need only to unite the idea Freedom with this other part of the theory.
When it is admitted that the intelligible person may, in regard of any given act, be free, even while he, as a person belonging in part to the world of sense, is mechanically conditioned, it still seems as if we must admit that the actions of mankind have their determining ground in somewhat entirely beyond their power, so soon as we admit that God, as the author of all things, is the cause of the existence of substance (a position which cannot be deserted without abandoning all theology). Here it would seem that all man’s actions have their last ground in the causality of a Supreme Being different from himself; and in truth, if the actions of man, which belong to his modifications in time, be not mere determinations of him as phenomena, but of him as a thing-in-itself, then freedom would irrecoverably be lost,—man would be an automaton, wound up and set agoing by some supreme artist. His self-consciousness would no doubt make him a thinking automaton, where, however, the consciousness of his spontaneity, if deemed freedom, were illusory, as it could only be called so, comparatively speaking, since the next determinators of his movements and their series up to their last cause would, it is true, be internal, but the last and highest would be met with in a different hand. In consequence of this, I cannot see how they who insist on regarding space and time as modes pertaining to the existence of the things in themselves, can escape the fatality of actions. Or if (as Mendelssohn did) they declare them requisite only to the existence of finite and derived beings, but no conditions of an Infinite and Illimitable Supreme, then, first, it is incomprehensible upon what title this distinction is asserted; and second, how they propose to escape the contradiction of making existence in time a necessary modification of Finites; God being the cause of their existence, while He yet cannot be the cause of the existence of time and space, these being, on this assumption, necessary à priori conditions of the existence of things themselves. And so His causality would be conditioned in regard of the existence of things; after which, all the objections to God’s Infinitude and Independency must again enter; whereas, on the contrary, the determining the Divine Existence as independent on any conditions of time, as contradistinguished from that of a being of the sensible world, is quite easy upon our theory, as it is just the discriminating betwixt the existence of a being-in-itself, and its existence phenomenally. So that if the Ideality of space and time be not admitted, Spinozism is the only alternative, where space and time are taken for essential modes of the Supreme Being; and the things which depend on Him (i.e., we ourselves) are not substances, but accidents inhering in Him, because, if these things exist only as His effects in time, which time conditions their existence-in-itself, then all actions of such a product would be just actions of this Supreme, which He performed somewhere and somewhen. Spinozism, therefore, notwithstanding the absurdity of its main idea, concludes more logically than the creationtheory can, when beings in time are stated as substances, and as effects of Supreme Cause, and yet denied to belong to God and His actions.
The solution of the said difficulty can be effected shortly and clearly as follows:—If existence-in-time is a mere sensitive kind of representing, appertaining to the thinking subjects in the world, and so quite unrelated to things-in-themselves, then the creating of these latter beings is a creating of things-in-themselves, because the notion of creation has nowhat to do with the sensitive representing of an entity, but refers to Noumena. When, then, I say of beings in the sensible world, “they are created,” so far I regard them as Noumena. And as it would import a contradiction to affirm that God is the originator of the Phenomena, so it is likewise a contradiction to affirm that He is, as Creator, cause of the actions which, as phenomena, are exhibited in the sensible world, although He is cause of the existence of the agent as a Noumenon. And if now it is possible to assert freedom without prejudice to the mechanism of the system of actions as phenomena, then it cannot make the least difference that the agent is regarded as created, since creation refers to intelligible, not to sensible existence, and so cannot be figured as a ground of the determination of phenomena; which result, however, would fall out the other way if the finite beings existed in time as things-in-themselves, since then the Creator of the substance would be the author of all the machinery attaching to the substance.
Of so vast importance is the separation of time from the existence of real entities, effected in the Critique.
The solution of this difficulty here advanced is exceedingly difficult itself, it will be said, and appears hardly susceptible of a lucid explanation; but is there any other which has been yet attempted more easy and more comprehensible? It would be better to say, and more true, that the dogmatic teachers of metaphysic rather showed their cunning than their sincerity, by removing this difficulty out of sight, in the hope that, if they said nothing of it, it would occur to nobody. But if effective aid is to be given to science, every difficulty must be exposed, and even sought for, if peradventure any lurk in secret; for every difficulty evokes a mean of help, which cannot be found without giving science an increase in extent or in precision; and so difficulties advance the groundworks of science. But when difficulties are disingenuously concealed, or obviated by palliatives, they burst out by and by into incurable evils, and science is lost in absolute scepticism.
Since it is, properly speaking, the idea Freedom which alone procures us (of all ideas of pure speculative reason) so great an extension in the fields of the supersensible, although only in order to a practical behoof, I ask how it has exclusively so great and signal a fertility, while the rest denote undoubtedly the vacant spot for possible objects of the understanding, but cannot determine by anywhat the notion of them. I soon comprehend that since I can think nothing without a category, this category must first of all be sought, even for the idea Freedom. Here it is the category Causality; and I am aware that I cannot give to the idea Freedom, as a transcendent one, any corresponding intuition, yet that to the representation Causality a sensible intuition must first of all be given, in order that objective reality may be secured to it. Again, all the categories fall into two classes—the mathematic, which tend only to the unity of the synthesis in the representing of objects, and the dynamic, which refer to the unity in the representing the existence of objects. The first kind, those of quantity and quality, contain always a synthesis of the homogeneous, where the unconditioned, belonging to the given conditioned in a sensible intuition in space and time, could not at all be found, as it behoved itself to belong to space and time, and so was always still conditioned. Hence, too, it came, that in this part of the dialectic of speculative reason, the antagonistic modes of finding the unconditionate, and the totality of their conditions, were both false. The categories of the second class (those of the causality and of the necessity of a thing) demanded not in their synthesis this homogeneousness of the conditioned and unconditionate, because here, not the intuition, and how it was originated and compounded out of the multifarious, behoves to be represented, but only how the existence of the conditioned object corresponding to the intuition was added to the existence of the condition; and there it was allowable to place the unconditioned of the every-way-conditioned in the sensible world (both in regard of the causality and the contingent existence of the things) in the cogitable world, and to make the synthesis transcendent: and so we found, in the dialectic of pure reason, that both the “seemingly” antagonist modes of finding the unconditioned for the conditioned—e.g., in the synthesis of causality for the conditioned sequences of causation and effect in the sensible world—did not contradict one another, when a causality was cogitated no longer sensitively conditioned, and that the very same action, which, as pertaining to the sensible world was always sensitively conditioned, i.e., mechanically necessary, could yet have at bottom a causality independent on the sensory, as causality of the actor, so far forth as he belonged to the intelligible world, and so be cogitated as free. All depended upon this, to change this can into existence, which, as it were, one could prove in some one instance by a fact, and to show that certain actions presupposed such a causality (viz., the intellectual, unconditioned by sense), whether such actions were actual or commanded,i.e., were objectively and practically necessary. In actually experienced and observed actions, as events in the sensible world, we never could hope to attain this connection, because the causality of freedom must be sought always beyond the sensible world, in the cogitable. But nowhat is presented to our perception, except sensible entities. There remained by consequence no alternative, except that an incontrovertible and objective law of the causality, secluding all sensitive conditions from its determinators, should be found; i.e., such a law, wherein reason appealed, to nowhat else and ulterior, as a determinator of causation, but which determinator reason herself contains by means of that law, and where she is accordingly as pure reason self-practical. But this principle needs no seeking and no finding, but is from days of yore interwoven with the reason and substance of all men, and this is the principle of morality. Consequently, an unconditioned causality, and our power of having it, freedom, and along with it, my being, belonging to the sensible world, and also at the same time to the cogitable, is not merely indefinitely and problematically thought, but is, in regard of the law of its causality, precisely and assertively known; and this fixes for us, and states, the reality of the cogitable world in a practical point of view; and this fixing, which in a theoretic point of view would be transcendent,* is, in a practical, immanent. But this step we could not take in reference to the second dynamical idea, viz., that of a Necessary Being; we could not arrive at him beyond the sensible world, without the intermediation of the first dynamic idea.8 For had we hazarded any such step, we must have quitted all data, and soared up to that, whereof nothing was given, by means of which we might make out the connection of such an intelligible person with the world of phenomena (since the Unoriginated and Necessary behoved to be known as given without us), while yet this was quite possible in regard of our own subject, so far as, on the one hand, it determines itself by the moral law as a cogitable being by means of freedom, and, on the other hand, recognises itself as acting in the sensible world, conformably to this destination, as indeed every day’s experience may prove.
The idea Freedom alone permits that we quit not the datum self, to find the unconditioned and cogitable for the conditioned and sensible. Yet it is our reason itself, which, by its supreme and unconditioned practical law, recognises itself, and the being conscious of this law (our own person), as pertaining to the cogitable system, and that too with a determination of the mode how it as such may be active. Thus we understand how it is the practical faculties alone which can help us beyond the sensible world, and procure us a knowledge of a supersensible order and combination of things; which knowledge can, however, be extended only so far as is just requisite for a pure practical purpose.
There is only one remark behind, viz., that every step taken by pure reason, even in a practical department where regard is not had to subtlety of speculation, does of itself most minutely coincide with the whole progress and march of the Critique of Pure Speculative Reason,—nay, as exactly as if each step were taken just to procure this establishment and confirmation. Such an unsought and self-presenting arrival of the most important passages of pure practical reason at the same goal, with the exceeding subtle and often needless-seeming remarks in the critique of pure speculative, surprises and corroborates and reinforces, the maxim already known and lauded by others, to prosecute with all frankness and exactness a man’s research in every scientific undertaking, without caring in the least against what extraneous matters it may offend or collide, but to go on to execute it completely by and for itself alone. Repeated observation has shown me, that when a work of this sort is ended, some things which in the middle of the investigation looked exceedingly doubtful, came, notwithstanding, to a final coincidence and harmony in the most unexpected manner, with dogmas obtained without any reference to these results, or any partiality or fondness for them. Writers might spare themselves many blunders, and much lost toil (since they aimed at a dazzling result), could they but resolve to go more openly to work.
INTRODUCTION TO THE METAPHYSICAL ELEMENTS OF JURISPRUDENCE.
[* ]In the chapter not translated.—Tr.
[* ]Ref. 6, from p. 57.—C.
[* ]Ref. 6, from p. 57.—C.
[* ]Ref. 6, from p. 57, taken with all that follows in this chapter.—C.
[* ]Kant distinguishes between transcendental and transcendent. The former is that which, as à priori, transcends experience; the latter is that which transcends all knowledge, or, according to the terminology of his system, transcends both the sensible and the cogitable.—C.
[8 ]For Kant’s views as to recognition of God, compare with this passage pp. 301, 306, 307.—C.