The Fate of Choice: Freedom and Imputability in Kant and His Early Successors


This book reconstructs the intense early post-Kantian debate on freedom of the will, choice, and moral imputability for the first time. It addresses the following questions: How is freedom of choice possible given the causal predetermination of the world? How can we escape skepticism about freedom of the will? What are the characteristics of moral freedom? Are we free to act immorally, and if so, how exactly? And finally: How can we conceive of our individual freedom as being compatible with nature and society?

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Jörg Noller obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Munich in 2014, where he habilitated in 2021. He is a lecturer at the University of Munich and co-editor of Kant’s Early Critics on Freedom of the Will (2022).
Translations and Abbreviations

Introduction: Kant and the Fate of Autonomy Reconsidered

Part 1: Freedom, Autonomy, and Choice: Kant and the Pre-Kantian Tradition

1 liberum arbitrium: Kant and the Problem of Willkür
2 Transcendental Freedom: Kant on Spontaneity
3 Practical Freedom: Kant on Autonomy and Moral Respect
4 Individual Freedom: Kant on Choice and Responsibility

Part 2: Freedom, Determinism, and Imputability

5 Freedom and Necessity: Johann August Heinrich Ulrich
6 Against Ulrich’s Determinism: Christian Jacob Kraus
7 Intelligible Fatalism: Carl Christian Erhard Schmid
8 Against Intelligible Fatalism: Karl Leonhard Reinhold (I)
9 Excursus. the Incapacity of Freedom
Does Kant’s Ethics Imply an Intelligible Fatalism?

Part 3: Freedom, Reason, and Skepticism

10 The Deduction of Freedom: Johann Heinrich Abicht
11 Skepticism and Freedom: Leonhard Creuzer
12 Beyond Intelligible Fatalism and Indifferentism: Friedrich Karl Forberg
13 Critique of Mere Choice: Christoph Gottfried Bardili
14 The Reflection of Will: Fichte’s Volitional Anti-Skepticism
15 Excursus. Reason’s Responsibility
Kant on Rationalizing

Part 4: Freedom, Individuality, and Compatibility

16 Individuality at Risk: Rehberg’s Critique of Pure Practical Reason
17 Freedom as Choice: Karl Leonhard Reinhold (II)
18 Against Choice: Maimon’s Reply to Reinhold
19 Heautonomy: Schiller’s Aesthetic Compatibilism
20 “Will is primal being”: Schelling’s Real Compatibilism

Conclusion: Revisiting Choice

Graduate students, post-graduate students and specialists in post-Kantian philosophy.
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