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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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Causality of Freedom

Causality of Freedom

(p.66) 3 Causality of Freedom
The Subject of Freedom

Gabriela Basterra

Fordham University Press

If freedom can manifest itself in the world, it is only insofar as freedom is the excess that constitutes subjectivity. From a practical perspective, that freedom is actual means it motivates the subject to act. Freedom manifests itself as a power to obligate that affects the faculty of desire through the moral law: we find ourselves responding to something without knowing to what. In the Critique of Practical Reason, being free means having freedom act in and through oneself, that is, being animated by a causality one does not understand. This chapter envisions the law as that which in the subject exceeds and addresses the subject as something other. It explores how the subject gives the law its power as cause by making of it the element that initiates and motivates the causality of freedom in oneself. Autonomy, it proposes, consists in offering oneself as origin of what has no origin.

Keywords:   Kant, Critique of Practical Reason, Causality of freedom, Moral law, Autonomy

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