Rethinking “the Fact of Reason” in Kant’s Ethics
高畑, 菜子Takahata, Nako
13 , 2016-03 , 新潟大学大学院現代社会文化研究科
To date, numerous critical accounts of Kant’s “the fact of reason” have been presented, reproaching Kant for dogmatism. This paper reconsiders the fact of reason, and assesses this reproach. Herein, an attempt to explain his intended meaning is made. In the Remark to Section 7 of the Critique of Practical Reason, Kant executes the terminological baptism. He posits that the “consciousness of this fundamental law is a fact of reason.” As a synthetic a priori proposition, this fundamental law is a categorical imperative. Thus, the fact of reason is consciousness of the categorical imperative. Willaschek suggests the fact of reason is a deed of reason. What, then, does reason do? This paper posits that reason determines will. One cannot be conscious of the categorical imperative without a determining of the will. Since Kant suggests the fact of reason is justified by common human understanding, it may be identified as the feeling of respect. The categorical imperative is distinguished from the feeling of respect, however, and so it must be emphasized that the fact of reason is not the feeling of respect, because the former precedes the latter. The fact of reason is the standpoint of Kant’s moral philosophy—our common moral cognition and its judgment on the basis of the fact of reason.