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The Subject of FreedomKant, Levinas$
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Gabriela Basterra

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823265145

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823265145.001.0001

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Unconditioned Subjectivity

Unconditioned Subjectivity

Chapter:
(p.47) 2 Unconditioned Subjectivity
Source:
The Subject of Freedom
Author(s):

Gabriela Basterra

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823265145.003.0003

This chapter proposes a reading of Kant's third antinomy that pursues what Kant's explanation presupposes and accomplishes beyond what his explicit solution claims to achieve. The third antinomy rehearses the tension between freedom and determinism, between spontaneity and receptivity, by introducing freedom as an unconditioned cause or limit. This chapter argues that the subject, a member of the empirical series and also the bearer of freedom, plays the role of unconditioned cause that allows reason to form a synthesis. By unwittingly taking the position of the unconditioned, the subject would introduce a boundary in the natural causal series that anchors it fleetingly and contingently. The immanent synthesis formed here would be a dynamic system being incessantly reconfigured. “Subjectivity” in this context names a relationship between the series and its outside, between knowledge and what exceeds thought, between a theoretical reason that reasons and a practical reason that must act.

Keywords:   Kant, Third antinomy, Freedom, Determinism, Unconditioned, Subjectivity, Immanent synthesis, Contingent whole, Practical reason

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