1

Secondary Source: What's It All About? (2007 1 ed.) p. 120 Middle.
Primary Source: Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals, Section 3, ON THE EXTREME BOUNDARY OF ALL PRACTICAL PHILOSOPHY

  For this reason, we can here afford to set aside the free-will issue. I don't rule out the possibility that metaphysical arguments about necessity could undermine the everyday notions of free will required to accept the broad line of argument followed in this book. But I do think that possibility is remote, because the kinds of freedom and choice I talk about are the kinds we confront in experience, not just in theory. When we contemplate the meaning of life, we are thinking on the plane of action, of practical decisions and choices we have to make. No matter what metaphysicians say about free will, we have to experience the world as one with choices and dilemmas and we have to resolve them as beings able to think them through and make decisions. As Kant said , although 'reason for speculative purposes finds the road of natural necessity much more travelled and more usable than that of freedom, yet for practical purposes the footpath of freedom is the only one on which it is possible to make use of our reason in our conduct'.

  1. What does the bolded sentence mean?

  2. The translated nouns (in grey) daze me the most.

  3. Why does Kant metaphorize 'natural necessity' as a 'road', but 'freedom' as a 'footpath'?

  • Is there a reference given for the quote? – Philip Klöcking Feb 25 '18 at 2:58
  • @PhilipKlöcking I found it at the link for my Secondary Source. Did you? – Greek - Area 51 Proposal Feb 25 '18 at 3:02
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    Ah, cheers, got it. Very shortly, as I will have to get some sleep: speculative reason is the reason seeking for knowledge. Kant sometimes called his first critique a critique of speculative reason. In the realm of knowledge, we speak about world, in which everything works according to laws of nature (=natural necessity). For our reason to become practical (i.e. have direct effect in the world or causality), though, the only way is to act beyond laws of nature. He is paraphrasing the third antinomy from the first critique here. Scarce event (moral action), hence footpath. – Philip Klöcking Feb 25 '18 at 3:05
  • @PhilipKlöcking +1. Thanks. No rush; please feel free to reply after your sleep! – Greek - Area 51 Proposal Feb 25 '18 at 3:25

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