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BOOK REVIEWS 107 To sum up, Griffin Collart's La philosophie Ocossaisedu sens commun may be quite adequate as a first introduction to Reid and Stewart, but it does not break any new ground. MANFRED KUEHN Champlain Regional College, St. Lawrence Campus Mary-Barbara Zeldin. Freedom and the Critical Undertaking: Essays on Kant's Later "Critiques ." Ann Arbor: University Microfilms International, 198o. Pp. xvi + 33o. $2:.75. f Mary-Barbara Zeldin's book Freedom and the Critical Undertaking is a collection of eleven articles, six of which have previously been published. Six of the essays deal with aspects of the metaphysics of morals ("Kant's Argument for the Existence of God," "Aspects of Freedom," "Can I Do What I Ought," "Belief as a Requirement of Reason," "The Summum Bonum," and "Kant's Postulate of Immortality"); the other five essays deal with purpose and creativity as encountered in Kant's third Critique (and include such topics as "The Communication of Feeling," "Pleasure, Life and Mother-Wit," "Schema, Type and Symbol," and "Art and Genius"). Although each article is a whole in itself, it is the author's contention that, together, they lead to the conclusion "that man is the final purpose of all creation" (p. xi). It is not possible in a brief review to evaluate all these essays adequately. But the very fact that most of them have already been published in reputable journals is in itself testimony to the generally high quality of this collection; and whether or not we agree with the author, her essays are in any case a challenge to us to face once more certain crucial aspects of Kant's philosophy. In this sense their publication is most welcome. In a number of instances Professor Zeldin's argument is impaired by her dependence upon the Norman Kemp Smith translation of the Critique of Pure Reason, which is by no means in all respects adequate to the German text. I refer specifically to A693/B721 and A651/B679, which in condensed form provide the evidence that, from the very beginning to the end, Kant is a constructivist--a fact that is crucial for an understanding of Kant but which Professor Zeldin does not seem to appreciate. In chapter 2, "Aspects of Freedom," Zeldin raises the troublesome problem of what Kant meant by Willkftr. An extensive footnote (pp. 231-33) gives the reader a fair impression of the general confusion that prevails about Kant's precise meaning. But the problem is touched upon again and again throughout the book. Kant himself , unfortunately, was not always as precise in his terminology as he might have been. In general, however, his distinction between Wille and Willkfir is quite clear. And it is again the German text that will help us to see what he meant. But let us see first what Zeldin takes Kant to mean. Zeldin deals with the problem under three subheadings: "Transcendental Freedom ," "Practical Freedom," and "Freedom as a Postulate." Although she has consulted all three Critiques, most of her discussion is based upon the Critique of Pure 108 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY Reason. There Kant had said (A533/B561) that "by freedom in the cosmologicalsense I mean the capacity of beginning a Zustand [a situation, state of affairs] spontaneously." The adjective "cosmological" implies that Kant is here speaking of freedom as such and without qualification. In this perspective the distinction between WiUe and Willkiir does not arise; and Zeldin does not say that it does (for she omits any reference to this passage); hut she states on page 29 that "moral freedom" is "the causality of pure reason which formulates categorical imperatives for its own sake and thus determines and characterizes Willkiir." And on page 24 she writes with special reference to A548/B576 that "the causality of reason determines the will [Willkiir] of a finite being, that is, determines him to action in the sensible world." Kant's statement here is crucial to the distinction between Willkiir and WiUe. But what did he actually say? "No matter how many natural grounds may incite me to will [Wollen], no amount of sensory incentives can bring forth the ought. They bring forth only a by no means...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 107-109
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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