Freedom within nature: Adorno on the idea of reason's autonomy

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Title: Freedom within nature: Adorno on the idea of reason's autonomy
Authors: O'Connor, Brian
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/9290
Date: 23-Dec-2013
Abstract: A commitment to the thesis of the autonomy of reason can be located across various phases of German Idealism. Initiated in Kant’s critical work, it developed diverse conceptualizations and functions in the philosophy of Fichte’s Jena period, early Schelling and, arguably, all of Hegel’s mature writings. For Kant the self-governance of reason was to mean, at the practical level, that rational agents could determine themselves through reason alone. To do so they would endorse principles for action, these principles taking the form of a law compelling for all rational beings. As materially pure, universal laws, practical principles were valid independently of the normative authority of existing socio-cultural practice and of the pathological and wholly subjective preferences of any given empirical agent. The rational agent, through the use of autonomous reason, could both identify what a rational will should will and be at the same time moved to act upon what it wills. Kant’s theory of reason offered a framework within which practical reason itself could be defended, and theories that privileged sentiment, happiness or any other variety of affective motive were exposed as antithetical to moral legislation.
Type of material: Book Chapter
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Copyright (published version): 2013 Cambridge University Press
Keywords: Autonomy;Reason;Transcendental theory
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Is part of: Walker, J. (ed.). The Impact of Idealism: The Legacy of Post-Kantian German Thought, Volume II: Historical, Social and Political Thought
Appears in Collections:Philosophy Research Collection

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