The Rational Human Condition 3, Deep Freedom and Real Persons: A Study in Metaphysics, Section 3.4–The Rationality of the Heart: Principled Authenticity, and Section 3.5–Conclusion.

“The Human Condition,” by Thomas Whitaker/Prison Arts Coalition

THE RATIONAL HUMAN CONDITION is a five-part, four-book series, including:

PART 1: Preface and General Introduction

PART 2: Cognition, Content, and the A Priori: A Study in the Philosophy of Mind and Knowledge

PART 3:  Deep Freedom and Real Persons: A Study in Metaphysics

PART 4: Kantian Ethics and Human Existence: A Study in Moral Philosophy

PART 5:  Kant, Agnosticism, and Anarchism: A Theological-Political Treatise

Its author is ROBERT HANNA:




Section 1.0  What It Is

Section 1.1  Bounded in a Nutshell

Section 1.2  Rational Anthropology vs. Analytic Metaphysics, the Standard Picture, and Scientific Naturalism

Section 1.3  Philosophy and Its History: No Deep Difference

Section 1.4  Works of Philosophy vs. Philosophical Theories: Presentational Hylomorphism and Polymorphism

Section 1.5  Analytic Philosophy, Continental Philosophy, and Rational Anthropology

Section 1.6  What is a Rational Human Animal?

Section 1.7  An Important Worry and a Preliminary Reply

Section 1.8  The Biggest Windmills

The Complete, Downloadable Text of THE RATIONAL HUMAN CONDITION, PART 1



The Complete, Downloadable Text of THE RATIONAL HUMAN CONDITION, PART 2




A Note on References

1.  Introduction: Freedom, Life, and Persons’ Lives  

1.0 Natural Libertarianism and Minded Animalism

1.1 Incompatibilistic Compatibilism

1.2 Deep Freedom and Principled Authenticity

1.3 The Central Claim of this Book, and Previews                                      

2.  Beyond Mechanism: The Dynamics of Life

2.0 Introduction

2.1 Immanent Structuralism

2.2 Natural Mechanism, Computability, and Anti-Mechanism

2.3 Kant’s Anti-Mechanism, Kantian Anti-Mechanism, Vitalism, and Emergentism

2.4 On the Representation of Life

2.5 Kantian Non-Conceptualism and the Dynamicist Model of Life

2.6 Inverted Life, Suspended Life, and Non-Local Life: How Life Does Not Strongly Supervene on the Physical, and Why

2.7 Conclusion                                                                                                                  

3.  From Biology to Agency          

3.0 Introduction

3.1 Two-Dimensional Rational Normativity

3.2 Kant’s Biological Theory of Freedom

3.3 Practical-Freedom-in-Life: Kantian Non-Intellectualism

3.4 The Rationality of the Heart: Principled Authenticity

3.5 Conclusion                                                                                                       

4.  Neither/Nor: The Negative Case for Natural Libertarianism

4.0 Introduction                                                                                                                 

4.1 The Intuitive Definition of Free Will

4.2 The Four Metaphysical Horsemen of the Apocalypse

4.3 The Three Standard Options, Natural Mechanism, and The Fourfold Knot of Free Agency

4.4 Three Arguments for Classical Incompatibilism, and In-the-Zone Compatibilism

4.5 Three Arguments for Local Incompatibilism with Respect to Natural Mechanism

4.6 Sympathy for the Devil: Compatibilism Reconsidered

4.7 Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death?

4.8 Too Hard to Live With: Strawson’s Basic Argument, Hard Determinism, and Hard Incompatibilism

4.9 Conclusion                                                                                                        

5.  Either/Or: Deep Freedom and Principled Authenticity          

5.0 Introduction

5.1 The Internal Structure of Deep Freedom

5.2 From Frankfurt Back to Kierkegaard: How to Have a Live Option, or Kierkegaardian Either/Or, Without Alternative Possibilities

5.3 Psychological Freedom, Deep Freedom, and Principled Authenticity

5.4 Conclusion                                                                                                       

6.  Minded Animalism I: What Real Persons Really Are

6.0 Introduction

6.1 From Deep Freedom to Real Persons

6.2 Real Persons

6.3 Necessary and Sufficient Conditions for Real Personhood

6.4 Conclusion                                                                                                       

7.  Minded Animalism II: From Parfit to Real Personal Identity          

7.0 Introduction

7.1 Parfit’s Theory: Six Basic Claims

7.2 Against and Beyond Parfit 1: Two Reasons, and The Minded Animalist Criterion of Personal Identity

7.3 Against and Beyond Parfit 2: Four More Reasons

7.4 Conclusion            

Next Installment                                                                                                  

In the fullness of time, the complete, downloadable text of each part of THE RATIONAL HUMAN CONDITION will also be made available on APP.


For convenience, throughout the five-part four book series, The Rational Human Condition—comprising 1. the Preface and General Introduction, 2. Cognition, Content, and the A Priori, 3. Deep Freedom and Real Persons, 4. Kantian Ethics and Human Existence, and 5. Kant, Agnosticism, and Anarchism—I refer to Kant’s works infratextually in parentheses. The citations include both an abbreviation of the English title and the corresponding volume and page numbers in the standard “Akademie” edition of Kant’s works: Kants gesammelte Schriften, edited by the Königlich Preussischen (now Deutschen) Akademie der Wissenschaften (Berlin: G. Reimer [now de Gruyter], 1902-). I generally follow the standard English translations, but have occasionally modified them where appropriate. For references to the first Critique, I follow the common practice of giving page numbers from the A (1781) and B (1787) German editions only. Here is a list of the relevant abbreviations and English translations:

BL       “The Blomberg Logic.” In Immanuel Kant: Lectures on Logic. Trans. J.M. Young. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1992. Pp. 5-246.

C         Immanuel Kant: Correspondence, 1759-99. Trans. A. Zweig. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1999.

CPJ      Critique of the Power of Judgment. Trans. P. Guyer and E. Matthews. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2000.

CPR    Critique of Pure Reason. Trans. P. Guyer and A. Wood. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1997.

CPrR   Critique of Practical Reason. Trans. M. Gregor. In Immanuel Kant: Practical Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1996. Pp. 139-271.

DiS      “Concerning the Ultimate Ground of the Differentiation of Directions in Space.” Trans. D. Walford and R. Meerbote. In Immanuel Kant: Theoretical Philosophy: 1755-1770. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1992.  Pp. 365-372.

DSS     “Dreams of a Spirit-Seer Elucidated by Dreams of Metaphysics.” Trans. D. Walford and R. Meerbote. In Immanuel Kant: Theoretical Philosophy: 1755-1770. Pp. 301-359.

EAT    “The End of All Things.” Trans. A. Wood and G. Di Giovanni. In Immanuel Kant: Religion and Rational Theology. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1996. Pp. 221-231.

GMM  Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals. Trans. M. Gregor. In Immanuel Kant: Practical Philosophy. Pp. 43-108.

ID        “On the Form and Principles of the Sensible and Intelligible World (Inaugural Dissertation).” Trans. D. Walford and R. Meerbote. In Immanuel Kant: Theoretical Philosophy: 1755-1770. Pp. 373-416.

IUH     “Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Aim.” Trans. A. Wood. In Immanuel Kant: Anthropology, History, and Eduction. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2007. Pp. 107-120.

JL         “The Jäsche Logic.” Trans. J.M. Young. In Immanuel Kant: Lectures on Logic. Pp. 519-640.

LE       Immanuel Kant: Lectures on Ethics. Trans. P. Heath. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1997.

MFNS Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science. Trans. M. Friedman. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2004.

MM     Metaphysics of Morals. Trans. M. Gregor. In Immanuel Kant: Practical Philosophy. Pp. 365-603.

OP       Immanuel Kant: Opus postumum. Trans.  E. Förster and M. Rosen. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1993.

OT       “What Does It Mean to Orient Oneself in Thinking?” Trans. A. Wood. In Immanuel Kant: Religion and Rational Theology. Pp. 7-18.

Prol     Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics. Trans. G. Hatfield. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2004.

PP       “Toward Perpetual Peace.” Trans. M. Gregor. In Immanuel Kant: Practical Philosophy. Pp. 317-351.

Rel       Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason. Trans. A. Wood and G. Di Giovanni. In Immanuel Kant: Religion and Rational Theology. Pp. 57-215.

RTL     “On a Supposed Right to Lie from Philanthropy.” Trans. M. Gregor. In Immanuel Kant: Practical Philosophy. Pp. 611-615.

VL       “The Vienna Logic,” Trans. J.M. Young. In Immanuel Kant: Lectures on Logic. Pp. 251-377.

WE      “An Answer to the Question: ‘What is Enlightenment?’” Trans. M. Gregor. In Immanuel Kant: Practical Philosophy. Pp. 17-22.



Chapter 3  From Biology to Agency

Section 3.4 The Rationality of the Heart: Principled Authenticity

To act on the basis of the “pure” Wille or pure practical reason, however, is to constrain and determine our Willkür by recognizing the Categorical Imperative. Insofar as it is recognized by us, the Categorical Imperative provides a desire-overriding, strictly universal, a priori, non-instrumental reason for action. That recognition, in turn, causally triggers an innate higher-order emotional disposition in us (also known as the capacity for respect or Achtung) to generate the consciously experienced desire to be moved by morally appropriate and non-egoistic or non-self-interested, non-hedonistic, non-consequentialist effective first-order desires:

The direct determination of the will by the law, and the awareness of that determination, is called “respect,” so we should see respect as the effect of the law on a person rather than as what produces the law. Actually, respect is the thought of something of such worth that it breaches my self-love…. Any moral so-called interest consists solely in respect for the [moral] law. (GMM 4: 402 n.)

Respect, in turn, is essentially a capacity and (when the capacity is triggered) an operation of the rationally-responsive human heart:

The pure thought of duty and in general of the moral law, mixed with no foreign addition of empirical inducements, has by way of reason alone (which with this first becomes aware that it can of itself be practical) an influence on the human heart so much more powerful than other incentives, which may be summoned from the empirical field, that reason, in the consciousness of its dignity, despises the latter and can gradually become their master. (GMM 4: 410–411)

We betray a culpable degree of moral unbelief if we do not grant sufficient authority to duty’s precepts, as originally inscribed in the heart by reason. (Rel 6: 84)

Moral faith (Glaube) must be a free faith, founded on pure dispositions of the heart (fides ingenua). (Rel 6: 115)

The highest goal of the moral perfection of finite creatures, never completely attainable by human beings, is … the love of the [moral] law. (Rel 6: 145)

So to choose or act on the basis of pure Wille is to do the good and right thing, as determined by our own pure practical reason, via the unique, wholly heartfelt motivational influence of the innate dispositional higher-order emotion of respect on our effective first-order desires or choices, no matter what the external and psychological antecedents, no matter how much pain I might suffer by doing the right thing, and no matter what the consequences.

The crucial factor in this account is Kant’s truly important idea, also fully endorsed by me, that there exists an innate emotional disposition in all rational human agents to experience spontaneously generated wholehearted higher-order desires to be moved by non-egoistic or non-self-interested, non-hedonistic, non-consequentialist effective first-order desires or choices. As I mentioned above, I call this special wholehearted higher-order desire the desire to achieve self-transcendence because it is a person-unifying, life-changing desire to achieve a radical volitional distancing with respect to our own egoistic or self-interested, hedonistic, or consequentialist first-order desires, and thus to be able to overcome the almost irresistible centripetal forces of the Dear Self and the Bottom Line. Now non-egoistic or non-self-interested, non-hedonistic, non-consequentialist first-order desires take the following general form:

I want (not-) X, no matter how much egoistic or hedonistic unhappiness and pain I may experience in getting (not-) X, and no matter what the consequences.

So, correspondingly, the higher-order desire to achieve self-transcendence takes the following general form:

I want (not) to want (not-) X, no matter how much egoistic or hedonistic unhappiness and pain I may experience in getting (not-) X, and no matter what the consequences.

Here, in turn, are two key points about the desire to achieve self-transcendence.

First, postulating the desire to achieve self-transcendence as the motivational ground of chooing or acting for the sake of the Categorical Imperative or moral law is not “emotional extremism” according to any specifically negative philosophical or moral connotation of that phrase.[i] On the contrary, it is perfectly rational and human — indeed a proper part of the authentic self-realization of practical human rationality — to be prepared to go to the wall for the things that really and truly matter most to you. It is not that you specifically want to go to the wall or that you are specifically trying to go to the wall. Indeed, it is a necessary part of the desire to achieve self-transcendence when it is specifically triggered by recognition of the Categorical Imperative, that were there any live or relevant option short of that, which also sustained the Highest or Supreme good, and also brought about good consequences for others and for oneself, then you would go for that instead. It is just that the Highest or Supreme good is worth more than any actual or possible set of good consequences alone. So good consequences do not necessarily determine the Highest or Supreme good.

It is important to note that trying to bring about good consequences for others and oneself, other things being equal, is a strict moral obligation, and hence good consequences for others and oneself constitute a proper part of the Highest or Supreme Good (= a good will = a life of principled authenticity, achieved at least partially or to some degree), according to the sketch of contemporary Kantian ethics I am developing here, and also work out in detail and defend in Kantian Ethics and Human Existence. The crucial thing to note here and now, however, is just that any attempt to substitute that proper part of the Highest or Supreme Good (= good consequences for others and oneself) for the whole of the Highest or Supreme Good (= a good will = a life of principled authenticity, achieved at least partially or to some degree) is fallacious.[ii] The whole Highest or Supreme good, taken by itself, is worth nondenumerably infinitely more than any of its proper parts, and has its value whatever the consequences.

The second key point is that sometimes the desire to achieve self-transcendence is near-Satanically evil, and thus undertaken under the Guise of the Bad, as in the previously-mentioned case in which someone cold-bloodedly tries to murder or seriously harm someone else, purely for the sake of violating (respect for) their dignity, even though he knows that he is bound to be shot by the police. In such a case, the intrinsic value, or objective end, that triggers the higher-order desire to achieve self-transcendence is the fact that the assailant chooses and acts on the morally disvalued and wrong goal and reason, no matter how much pain he may experience in bringing it about, and no matter what the consequences.

As I say, this is a clear and distinct case of near-Satanic evil, and I have already spelled a working analysis of the conditions of its real possibility, within the framework of The 2D Conception of rational normativity. Here I want to stress that near-Satanic evil minimally implies our ability to act with transcendental freedom of the will, i.e., agentive sourcehood or up-to-me-ness, but also in a monstrously self-loving/narcissistic and self-inflating/selfish way, and wrongly, hence without practical freedom of the will, a good will, or occurrently realized autonomy. Of course it must also be added that both the capacity for and also the realization of transcendental freedom entail our possession of the capacity for practical freedom, since all of these can occur only in a rational intentional agent, and amongst the animal intentional agents, only (as far as we know, leaving aside possible rational alien intentional agents) in a rational human intentional agent (CPR A533–534/B561–562). But near-Satanic evil also implies our ability to act freely on the basis of innately-specified and spontaneously generated, highly maleficent, but also non-egoistic, non-hedonistic, or non-consequentialist first-order desires. It is possible wholeheartedly to want a thing that violates human dignity, no matter how much first-order egoistic and hedonistic unhappiness and pain you experience in getting it, and no matter what harmful things to you or anyone else as a consequence of your actions. So you want that evil thing for its own sake, literally for the hell of it. In this way, just like Hume, Kant does not regard it as contrary to reason (in the low-bar or nonideal sense of 2D rational normativity), for someone to prefer the destruction of the world, including his own self-destruction, to the scratching of his finger.[iii]

In order to make this rational human emotional possibility of near-Satanic evil even more concrete, we can think not only of Hume’s monstrously narcissistic/self-loving and selfish/self-inflating person, but also of John Milton’s Satan, a literary character that Kant in all likelihood would have known well,[iv] of Iago in Shakespeare’s Othello; of the nihilist Peter Verhkovensky in Dostoevsky’s The Devils; of the post-modern punk thug Alex in Anthony Burgess’s/Stanley Kubrick’s Clockwork Orange; of the brilliant serial-killer/cannibal Hannibal Lecter in Jonathan Demme’s Silence of the Lambs; of the ultra-cold-blooded hitman Anton Chigurh in Cormack McCarthy’s/the Coen Brothers’ movie No Country for Old Men; of the real-life totalitarian mass-murderers, Hitler and Stalin; of the real-life perpetrators of the Columbine High School Massacre in 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold; of the homegrown US terrorist Timothy McVeigh, federally executed in 2001 for the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995; and, sadly, of many, many other moral monsters, too numerous to mention.

Such evil, although it is monstrously egoistic, and near-Satanic, is also low-bar and nonideally rational. Only a rational, even though “human, all too human,” animal could ever have such a self-transcending desire. Indeed, on Kant’s account of the nature of desire, no desires had by rational human animals could ever be essentially irrational or arational, since the function of a desire in a rational human animals is just to move themselves to action in the service of attaining rationally-recognized objectively intrinsically valuable instrumental or non-instrumental ends — whether these are material ends, in the case of empirical desires based on pleasure and pain, or formal ends, in the case of moral emotion of respect (CPrR 5: 21–28). But some non-egoistic, non-hedonistic, non-consequentialist desires are more rational than others, and some are monstrously egoistic. So according to Kant, it would be monstrously egoistic for me to prefer the destruction of the world (including my own self-destruction) to the scratching of my finger, precisely because this would be a radical violation of the Formula of Humanity as an End in Itself version of the Categorical Imperative:

So act that you use humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, always at the same time as an end, never merely as a means. (GMM 4: 429)

I would thereby be considering and treating everyone in the world, including myself, as mere things and mere means to my own ends, and worth less than my momentary mild pain, for its own categorically wicked sake and no matter what.

“For its own categorically wicked sake, and no matter what.” Therefore, in an apparent paradox, near-Satanic evil is the exact reversed mirror-image of acting with a good will, for good ends, without self-interest, non-hedonically, for its own categorically good sake, whatever the consequences — the “flip side” of a Kantian moral saint. Correspondingly, the other seemingly paradoxical thing about near-Satanic evil, as per Kant’s profound idea of a “revolution of the heart” or “revolution of the will,” and as per Dostoevsky’s novels, given the transcendentally free, low-bar rational, double-edged potentiality of the desire for self-transcendence, is that it only takes one life-changing, existential Kantian act of choice to go over completely from Great Sinner to Saint.

Now, in your moral first-person imagination, starting out as a Great Sinner or as a banal sinner, as a Hitler/Stalin or as an (Arendtian) Eichmann, or even just as an everyday non-evil, morally bad person, now revolutionize your will, and if you are evil, then flip the flip side. Therefore the desire for self-transcendence, whenever it results from recognition of the Categorical Imperative/moral law, thereby motivating choice or action for the sake of the Categorical Imperative/moral law, is inherently morally good and right. That inherently morally good and right self-transcendence only rarely happens in human affairs is fully acknowledged by Kant: “from the crooked timber of humanity, nothing straight can ever be made” (IUH 8: 23). But on the other hand, Kant firmly believed, even given the inherent crookedness of our timber, our sheer bent humanity, it is really possible.

In support of this, he provides a famous thought-experiment of a very lustful person who (sharply unlike the near-Satanic and monstrously egoistic Humean person, who prefers the destruction of the world, including his own self-destruction, to the scratching of his finger) would never in fact gratify his lust and thereby commit a crime for any instrumental reason, if at the moment of committing his crime he were presented with the gallows from which he would be instantly strung up as punishment. But this very same very lustful person nevertheless regards it as fully possible for him to lay down his own life on the very same gallows by refusing to give false testimony against an honorable man, even though he were commanded to do on pain of death by a tyrannical prince, and thus he conceives it to be really possible for him to choose and act on the basis of a moral non-instrumental reason (CPrR 5: 30).

But how is this radical “change,” “reversal,” or “revolution” of the human heart, i.e., of the power of choice/sensible will, really possible, for a very lustful or even near-satanically evil person? The quick Kantian answer is that it can happen because it ought to happen, and because we all actually do innately have the power (i.e., for transcendental freedom, practical freedom, and autonomy) to make it happen. The longer Kantian answer is that it results from our spontaneous power of choice together with the intense personal struggle to reconfigure the basic hierarchical-desire-structure of one’s own embodied will so as to achieve increasingly greater degrees of moral authenticity and self-transcendence, thereby overcoming egoism. How few of us ever manage to do this! And even for those few who do, how infrequently it ever happens! But in any case, frankly, I also think it actually does happen sometimes, and more often than you might think.

To be sure, publicly-acknowledged examples of moral heroism, sainthood, or radical goodness and rightness in the Kantian sense are, to put it mildly, not as thick on the ground as the relentlessly repetitive, Wheel of Ixion-like, trillionfold examples of near-Satanic or banal evil, and moral badness. Moreover, many or even most examples of moral heroism, sainthood, or radical goodness and rightness in the Kantian sense consist in all-too-tempting evil things not chosen and not done. Consider this headline —

Woman Resists Terrible Temptation to Do Evil; Intensely But Quietly Suffers For It; Then Quietly Experiences Moral Self-Fulfillment; Then Goes About Her Daily Life As Usual.

Such stories rarely make it into USA Today or onto Fox News, nor even into The New York Times or WaPo. I mean, of course, that they never do and never will. And the representation of radical goodness and rightness in art, sadly, also tends to be moralistic and prissy.

But in order to make the rational human emotional possibility of radical goodness and rightness more concrete, we can think here of Socrates as represented by Plato in the Apology, the Crito, and the Phaedo; of the absurd “Knight of the Sorrowful Countenance,” Don Quixote, in Cervantes’s Don Quixote; of Kierkegaard’s “Knight of Faith” in Fear and Trembling; of the “Idiot” Prince Myshkin in Dostoevsky’s The Idiot; of Renée Falconetti’s brilliant portrayal of Joan of Arc in Carl Theodor Dreyer’s Passion of Joan of Arc; of Takashi Shimura’s equally brilliant portrayal of the dying civil servant Kanji Watanabe in Kurosawa’s Ikiru; and also of the real-life, and therefore “human, all too human,” but still genuine moral heroes Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr., and Mother Teresa. And leaving aside these famous real-world cases, I also strongly believe that there are some people you actually know, or at least have met, or have heard about, who, in their own (perhaps) less consistent and (certainly) less conspicuous ways, are relevantly like this. And if they can be like that, and choose and act like that, then you can too.

So according to Kant, the real possibility of radical human goodness and rightness via a radical change, reversal, or revolution of the human heart is just an actual fact, although of course a unique sort of fact, namely a non-empirical fact about the rational human heart. More precisely, however, this unique non-empirical fact is the fact that our subjective experience or consciousness of recognizing the Categorical Imperative/moral law triggers our innate higher-order emotional disposition for feeling respect, i.e., our love for the moral law that is inscribed in the human heart, and then respect spontaneously generates the wholehearted higher-order desire to achieve morally right self-transcendence: straight from the heart. So it is not only a non-empirical fact, but also an inherently affective, essentially non-conceptual, non-self-conscious, non-propositional, and non-inferential fact. This subjective experience, or consciousness, of our direct recognition of the Categorical Imperative/moral law, together with its higher-order, essentially non-conceptual, non-self-conscious, non-propositional, and non-inferential emotive causal-generative effects, is nothing more and nothing less than The Fact of Reason, and the text in which Kant introduces it bears repeating:

The consciousness of this fundamental law [of pure practical reason, which says: so act that the maxim of your will could always hold at the same time as a principle of universal law giving] may be called a fact of reason, since one cannot ferret it out from antecedent data of reason, such as the consciousness of freedom (for this is not antecedently given), and since it forces itself upon us as a synthetic proposition a priori based on no pure or empirical intuition… In order to regard this law without any misinterpretation as given, one must note that it is not an empirical fact, but the sole fact of pure reason, which by it proclaims itself as originating law. (CPrR 5: 31; see also 5: 6, 42–43, 47–48, 55–57, 91–94, and 104–108)

Strictly speaking, Kant often refers to this as a fact of reason — although of course in this text he does refer to it as “the sole fact of pure reason” — but I will continue to refer to it as The Fact of Reason, simply in order to distinguish it from other actual or possible facts of reason that may not be strictly speaking moral facts of reason, such as the regulative use of ideas of pure reason in natural scientific inquiry (CPR A642–652/B670–680) and the closely-related regulative use of ideas of pure reason in biology and teleological contexts more generally (CPJ 5: 167–198).

It should be especially noted that, as I am construing it, The Fact of Reason is perfectly consistent with this famous text in the Groundwork:

In fact, it is absolutely impossible by means of experience to make out with complete certainty a single case in which the maxim of an action otherwise in conformity with duty rested simply on moral grounds and on the representation of one’s duty…. (GMM 4:407)

This famous text from the Groundwork has always — or almost always — been taken to imply a strong and specifically Kantian version of moral epistemic skepticism, by saying that we cannot ever know with certainty whether we are acting or have acted for the sake of the Categorical Imperative, that is, from duty, and not merely in conformity with duty, but actually from egoistic or hedonistic or utilitarian motives. But my reading of this famous text is sharply different. I think that the crucial sub-phrase in Kant’s key phrase, “it is absolutely impossible by means of experience to make out with complete certainty a single case…,” is “by means of experience.” More precisely, then, I think that it is perfectly consistent with what Kant has actually written at Groundwork 4: 407, to claim that, yes, empirical knowledge, in Kant’s technical senses of “empirical” and “knowledge” (Wissen) of whether we are acting or have acted from duty or not, is impossible. Empirical knowledge for Kant necessarily involves empirical concepts and empirical intuitions, and has its meaning, justification, and truth necessarily determined, at least in part, by sensory, contingent facts about the natural world and ourselves. Moreover, at most, empirical knowledge can have empirical certainty, which is when a subject “takes something [namely, a judgment or proposition] to be true” (Fürwahrhalten), in such a way that this taking-to-be-true has a kind of indubitability or self-evidence which is both subjectively sufficient, which makes it “conviction” (Überzeugung) and also intersubjectively or objectively sufficient (CPR A820–822/B848–850), which entails that the judgment or proposition is also actually true. Examples of empirical certainty would be cases of ordinary perceptual judgments under highly favorable contextual conditions, such as G.E. Moore’s famous anti-skeptical thesis, “This is my right hand and this is my left hand.”[v] I think that Kant is absolutely correct that we cannot ever have knowledge in this sense of whether we are acting or have acted from duty or not.

Nevertheless, even while conceding that empirical knowledge of the morality of our own actions is impossible, we can also consistently and also justifiably claim on Kantian grounds that we still have the capacity for veridical, direct, occurrent awareness of our choosing and acting from from duty, by means of non-empirical, essentially non-conceptual, moral self-consciousness. In other words, even though we cannot have empirical knowledge of whether we are acting or have ever acted from duty or not, we can still have non-empirical certainty about this. Correspondingly, I also think that The Fact of Reason is precisely this veridical, direct, occurrent, non-empirical, essentially non-conceptual, moral self-consciousness of our acting from duty. Therefore, given The Fact of Reason, then we can indeed have veridical, direct, occurrent, essentially non-conceptual, moral self-consciousness, with non-empirical certainty, when (and only when) we are acting for the sake of the Categorical Imperative and from duty. Otherwise put, acting from duty is partially constituted by its own self-validating phenomenology.

In any case, what is most crucial here is to note, again, that The Fact of Reason is not a conceptual, self-conscious, propositional, inferential, or more broadly speaking intellectual fact, but instead an inherently affective or heartfelt, essentially non-conceptual, non-self-conscious, non-propositional, non-inferential, or more broadly speaking affective fact about how the higher-order moral feeling of respect, i.e., love for the moral law inscribed in the human heart, operates on the hierarchical-desire-structure of the human will. So as I noted above, The Fact of Reason is really The Affect of Reason. All rational facts are either absolutely (i.e., without requiring empirical inputs) or relatively (i.e., requiring empirical inputs) spontaneously active; and the Fact/Affect of Reason is absolutely spontaneously active, insofar as it is absolutely spontaneously passionate. In other words, The Fact/Affect of Reason is a rational act of the human heart, not merely a rational act of the head. In this respect, Kant’s view is strikingly like that of Pascal, who famously wrote that the human heart has (me, on behalf of Kant: pure practical or moral) reasons of its own that (me, on behalf of Kant: theoretical or scientific) reason knows nothing about.[vi]

For example, someone raises her arm and shrieks in order to stop a street crime, or perhaps she becomes a whistleblower in a corporate, governmental, or scientific organization,[vii] just because she feels in her heart and in her non-conceptual mind that it is the morally right thing to do, even though she thereby risks her own life (in the case of stopping the street crime), or even though she risks losing her job and all her co-worker friends, and perhaps also ruining her career and her marriage (in the case of the corporate, governmental, or scientific whistleblower), and even though she desperately wants to avoid “being involved.” It seems clear that given these background conditions, only a second-order volition driven by the innate affective capacity for respect, i.e., a radical kind of love, could motivate such acts. Therefore she is doing her duty. According to Kant, “duty is the necessity of an action [done] from respect for the moral law” (GMM 4: 400). This says, as I am understanding it, that duty is the obligation that is binding on any act which is such that only the feeling of respect for persons and the Categorical Imperative/moral law innately inscribed in the human heart will suffice to move us, no matter what our first-order desires might happen to be, and no matter what the consequences.

In turn, there seem to be two importantly distinct ways in which the feeling of respect can move us by way of the second-order volition consisting of the more-or-less wholehearted desire to achieve a morally principled self-transcendence.

According to the first way, the higher-order wholehearted desire to achieve morally principled self-transcendence can take a particular online egoistic, hedonistic, or merely consequentialistic would-be effective first-order desire offline, and substitute a morally appropriate pre-existing or latent (but as yet non-effective) non-egoistic, non-hedonistic, non-consequentialistic (hence non-instrumental) first-order desire in its place, so that it becomes the effective one. To borrow Kant’s example, the very lustful person can take his intense online first-order desire to avoid being hanged offline, and then substitute a pre-existing or latent first-order desire to avoid bearing false witness against an honorable man, so that this latter desire now becomes his first-order volition.

And according to the second way, assuming a total set of selfish, egoistic, hedonistic, or consequentialist (hence instrumental) online first-order desires, together with another total set of non-egoistic, non-hedonistic, or non-consequentialist (hence non-instrumental) first-order desires, from which none has yet emerged as a would-be effective first-order desire, the higher-order wholehearted desire to achieve principled self-transcendence can spontaneously re-organize the emotional constituents of that state so as to produce a new online non-egoistic, non-hedonistic, or non-consequentialist (hence non-instrumental) effective first-order desire that is also morally appropriate. To borrow another of Kant’s examples, a person who is by nature somewhat cold and unsympathetic towards other people, and furthermore has many troubles of his own, can nevertheless wholeheartedly generate a new effective first-order desire to be kind to someone else (GMM 4: 398–399). This sort of emotionally and practically generative absolute spontaneity is strictly analogous to the intellectually and theoretically generative absolute spontaneity that yields pure a priori knowledge.[viii]

Now, again, I am not saying, nor is Kant saying, that this is an easy thing to do, nor am I saying, nor is Kant saying, that it happens very frequently in the course of everyday, personal or public life. But in fact, it actually happens a lot more often than you might think, as Rebecca Solnit’s brilliant 2009 study of spontaneously-formed, altruistic “disaster-communities,” A Paradise Built in Hell, clearly shows. In any case, I think it is really possible and sometimes actual. Indeed, as I indicated above, I also think that to some salient degree, we have all either directly experienced this disposition or propensity in ourselves or else clearly recognized it in others. At the very least, we have all recognized that we are fundamentally capable of it, because we have all recognized, no matter how fleetingly or darkly, that a real human person can and should change her life for the better. For example, one of the best-known lines in modern poetry is the last line of Rilke’s “Archaic Torso of Apollo”: Du muβt dein Leben ändern — “You must change your life.”[ix] Rilke’s poetic imperative is clearly a Kantian imperative. Now, insofar as we can read Rilke’s poem, and understand this line, then we morally imagine changing our own lives for the better, and rationally hope that we can.

We should also not assume, however, that the deeply motivational, desire-overriding, innate emotional disposition for feeling respect for persons and the moral law, or having the wholehearted desire to achieve morally principled self-transcendence, when triggered into action, will always have the same phenomenology. It may manifest itself as intense feelings of depression or gloominess (e.g., Lincoln); of guilt; of sympathy; of empathy; of ecstatic suffering (e.g., Falconetti’s Joan of Arc); of intense outwardly-directed anger; or even of self-loathing (e.g., Prince Myshkin). As Kant points out, since it “breaches my self-love” or narcissism, and also “humiliates,” “strikes down,” and “weakens” my self-inflation or selfishness, the subjective experience of respect or the desire for morally principled self-transcendence is often extremely unpleasant.

Of course, other things being equal, it is not terribly enjoyable, “not my idea of a good time,” to thwart one’s own powerful egoistic, hedonistic, or consequentialist first-order desires. Freudians would call it repression, and this also raises a corresponding philosophical worry: If having a good will in the Kantian sense often involves repression, hence what is “not my idea of a good time,” then how can it still be good? In reply to the Freudians, Kant could say:

“Yes, I agree completely that it is repression, and also that repression, other things being equal, is “not my idea of a good time”: not a happy experience. But precisely because we are crooked timbers and radically evil, a certain amount of serious repression is just the psychic cost of moral goodness, rightness, and virtue. The vitally important point is that it is more-or-less wholehearted, not that it is normally either pleasant or self-gratifying. Acting with a good will involves psychic coherence and self-sufficiency, not necessarily ordinary happiness.”

This vitally important point requires more elaboration because it gets to the heart of Kantian non-intellectualism. There is repression, and then there is repression. Certainly, much repression is intensely unpleasant, morally and personally pointless, and even positively harmful. Think, e.g., of all the thoroughly messed-up central characters in Hitchcock’s most brilliant films from the notoriously repressed 1950s: Strangers on a Train, Vertigo, Rear Window, and especially (at the very end of the decade) Psycho. But a transcendentally (i.e., deeply) free and rational human animal — i.e., a conscious, self-conscious, and self-reflective human agent, capable of theoretical and logical a priori cognition, who also has the innate emotional and practical capacity for being motivated or moved by respect for persons and the moral law, or by the wholehearted desire to achieve morally principled self-transcendence — may sometimes be, but does not ever have to be, helplessly handcuffed, manipulated, overwhelmed, twisted, or violated by her own desires. This is because the innate emotional disposition for feeling respect for persons and the moral law, or the desire to achieve principled self-transcendence, essentially affectively expresses her deepest self.

Think again here of Falconetti’s Joan of Arc, and of Mother Teresa, and of all those thousands or even millions of obscure, inconspicuous, unsung, perhaps only part-time, everyday moral saints that everyone actually knows, has met, or at least has heard about. If an agent is ever truly motivated or moved by respect for persons and the moral law, or by the wholehearted desire to achieve principled self-transcendence, even if it requires a terrible struggle to achieve it, then ultimately she has the will that she most deeply wants. She has thereby realized the capacity for rational emotional control of her own conscious, affective, and practical life. The internal constitution of the person she is and the person she will become are then both ultimately up to her: they flow from her, as the agential source. She is therefore both transcendentally (i.e., deeply) free and also practically free, hence partially or completely occurrently autonomous.

As I have noted already, Kant very aptly calls the subjective experience, or consciousness, of this special sort of moral self-control and agentive sourcehood, “self-fulfillment” or Selbstzufriedenheit:[x]

Have we not, however, a word that does not denote enjoyment, as the word happiness does, but that nevertheless indicates a satisfaction with one’s existence, an analogue of happiness that must necessarily accompany consciousness of virtue? Yes! This word is self-fulfillment, which in its strict meaning always designates only a negative satisfaction with one’s existence, in which one is conscious of needing nothing. Freedom, and the consciousness of freedom as an ability to follow the moral law with an unyielding disposition, is independence from the inclinations, at least as motives determining (if not as affecting) our desire, and so far as I am conscious of this freedom in following my moral maxims, it is the sole source of an unchangeable fulfillment, necessarily combined with it. (CPrR 5: 117)

Such a state of rational, volitional self-fulfillment is a higher, and indeed a higher-order, kind of happiness that is analogous in certain respects to ordinary or first-order happiness, in that it results from the satisfaction of desires, but also sharply different in that it consists in the satisfaction of a special higher-order desire — the desire for self-transcendence — not in the satisfaction of first-order desires. Moreover, it is essentially deeper than ordinary or first-order happiness. As “a negative satisfaction with one’s existence (ein negatives Wohlgefallen seiner Existenz), in which one is conscious of needing nothing,” it is the emotional state of rational, volitional coherence and self-sufficiency in a contingent, complex, and thoroughly nonideal actual world. Or to quote completely a Kant-text that I quoted partially above:

[c]onsidered in themselves natural inclinations are good, i.e., not reprehensible, and to want to extirpate them would not only be futile but harmful and blameworthy as well; we must rather constrain them, so that they will not wear each other out but will instead be harmonized into a whole called happiness. (Rel 6: 58).

Higher, higher-order happiness as Selbstzufriedenheit is Kant’s anticipation of what the Existentialists later called “authenticity,” or Eigentlichkeit, including what Kierkegaard called “purity of heart” —

Purity of Heart Is to Will One Thing …. [T]he person who in truth wills only one thing can will only the good, and the person who wills only one thing when he wills the good can will only the good in truth,[xi]

and also of what Frankfurt calls the “decisive identification” of second-order volitions with effective first-order desires or first-order volitions,[xii]and when it is dynamically spread out over time, “wholeheartedness” — although, of course, in the present context with an inherent and specifically Kantian orientation towards respect for real persons and the Categorical Imperative/moral law. As I have said, I call this essential fact of free agency principled authenticity. Whatever we call it, along with Kant I do think it is a variety of free will most definitely worth having — indeed, Kant in my opinion altogether rightly thinks that it is the variety of free will most worth having.

One way of vividly highlighting the centrality of Selbstzufriedenheit to Kantian non-intellectualism, is to contrast it with its moral contrary, which is half-heartedness, impurity of heart, lack of heart (“my heart just wasn’t in it”), or failure of heart — the various modes of inauthenticity in the specifically Kantian sense. This moral-psychological phenomenon of psychic incoherence and self-insufficiency appears in Kant’s writings in at least three slightly different versions.

The first is the almost shockingly stark picture of the philosopher who dogmatically, Scholastically, and slavishly accepts the precepts of some existing philosophical system such as the Leibnizian-Wolffian philosophy:

He has formed himself according to an alien reason, but the faculty of imitation is not that of generation, i.e., the cognition did not arise from reason in him, and although objectively it was certainly a rational cognition, subjectively it is still merely historical. He has grasped and preserved well, i.e., he has learned, and is a plaster cast of a living human being. Rational cognitions that are objectively so (i.e., could have arisen originally only out of the reason of human beings themselves) may also bear this name subjectively only if they have been drawn out of the universal sources of reason, from which critique, indeed even the rejection of what has been learned, can also arise, i.e., from principles. (CPR A836–837/B864–865)

The second is the equally stark picture of the essentially immature and cowardly person who refuses to acknowledge the fundamental moral idea behind “enlightenment” or Aufklärung, which is to think and act for yourself with resolution and courage:

Enlightenment is the human being’s emergence from his self-inflicted immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one’s own understanding without the guidance of another. This immaturity is self-inflicted if its cause is not lack of understanding, but lack of resolution and courage to use it without the guidance of another. The motto of enlightenment is therefore: Sapere aude! Have the courage to use your own understanding! …. [O]nce the germ on which nature has lavished most care — the human being’s inclination and vocation to think freely — has developed within its hard shell, it gradually reacts upon the mentality of the people, who thus gradually become increasingly able to act freely. Eventually, it even influences the principles of governments, which find that they can themselves profit by treating the human being, who is more than a machine, in a manner appropriate to his dignity. (WE 8: 35 and 41–42)

And the third is the perhaps even starker picture of the person who hides from himself the self-defining fact of his own radical evil, flowing from egoism, by pretending that moral disvalue or wrongness is nothing but bad historical consequences of human activity, and not the direct result of our transcendental freedom and the perversity of the rational human will:

This dishonesty (Unredlichkeit), by which we throw dust in our own eyes and which hinders the establishment in us of an authentic moral disposition (ächter moralischer Gesinnung), then extends itself also externally, to falsity or deception of others. And if this dishonesty is not to be called malice, it nonetheless deserves at least the name of unworthiness. It rests on the radical evil of human nature which (inasmuch as it puts out of tune the moral ability to judge what to think of a human being, and renders any imputability uncertain, whether internal or external) constitutes the foul stain of our species — and so long as we do not remove it, hinders the germ of good from developing as it otherwise would. A member of the English Parliament exclaimed in the heat of debate: “Every man has his price, for which he sells himself.” If this is true (and everyone can decide for himself), if nowhere is a virtue which no level of temptation can overthrow, if whether the good or evil spirit wins us over only depends on which bids the most and affords the promptest pay-off, then, what the Apostle says might indeed hold true of human beings universally, “There is no distinction here, they are all under sin — there is none righteous (in the spirit of the law), no, not one.” (Rel 6:38–39)

Human practical reason is our living, relatively or absolutely spontaneous, capacity to exercise the power of choice for the sake of instrumental or non-instrumental principles; and Selbstzufriedenheit is the subjective experience of partially or completely wholeheartedly realizing this capacity. In these ways, inauthenticity in the specifically Kantian sense, or the moral contrary of Selbstzufriedenheit, is just to comport yourself “heartlessly,” or as if you were nothing but a natural automaton or machine — as if you were nothing but a Dalek in the famously long-running British TV science fiction series Dr Who[xiii] — wholly determined by natural causal laws, and neither alive nor practically free. Or in other words, inauthenticity in the Kantian sense is the self-automating denial of your own capacity for practical freedom:

[I]f the freedom of our will were nothing else than [an automaton spirituale when it is impelled by representations]… it would in essence be no better than the freedom of a turnspit, which when once wound up also carries its motions from itself. (CPrR 5: 97)

The doctrine of Selbstzufriedenheit, in turn, highlights the basic way in which my contemporary Kantian theory of free agency transcends Hume’s theory of practical agency. For the contemporary Kantian, unlike Hume, practical reason is not “the slave of the passions.”[xiv] But this does not imply that for the contemporary Kantian, practical reason is not intrinsically connected to our desires, drives, emotions, and feelings, and thus intrinsically connected to our passions. On the contrary, according to my account of practical agency, practical reason is intrinsically connected to our passions, and indeed intrinsically connected to our deepest and most self-expressive passions — the ones whose ends we would be prepared to go to the wall for. These passions are the vital engines of pure practical reason, and practical reason is the non-mechanical, relatively or absolutely spontaneous, first-order conscious and also self-conscious structural guidance-and-control system for these engines. Via our faculty for practical reason, we consciously and self-consciously recognize the relative or absolute objective intrinsic values of ends; and at the very same time and in the same respect, our desires, drives, emotions, and feelings subjectively and more or less wholeheartedly propel us towards those ends by whatever means it rationally takes to get us there.

So we can justifiably defy and deny the standard construal of the internalism-about-practical-reasons-vs.-externalism-about-practical-reasons opposition, which puts Hume’s theory of practical agency, as the supposed paradigm of reasons internalism, in diametric and exhaustive opposition to Kant’s theory of free agency — or at least to the mainstream contemporary Kantian theory of free agancy, as per Korsgaard or later Parfit — as the supposed paradigm of externalism. For we can can endorse a uniquely Kantian kind of Frankfurt-style internalism about practical reasons, which says that all reasons are both justifying (in all three senses) on the basis of objective intrinsic values or ends, and also motivating on the basis of either lower-order or higher-order desires, some of which are innately generated. According to my contemporary Kantian view of practical agency, then, the Categorical Imperative is both affectively wholly heartfelt and also actively known by rational human animals, which is to say that it is both emotionally and also practically known by means of our faculty of practical reason, which in turn is the same as the faculty of desire. In this sense, my non-Korsgaardian, non-Parfitian, non-intellectualist contemporary Kantian theory of practical reasons is perfectly continuous with Hume’s theory of internal reasons: although, to be sure, my theory also recognizes a special class of desire-overriding, strictly universal, a priori, categorically normative, non-instrumental internal practical reasons that Hume’s theory does not recognize. So to play a Kantian non-intellectualist riff on Pascal:

The heart has its own (pure practical) reasons that (theoretical) reason knows nothing about.

According to the Kantian non-intellectualist theory of free agency that I am expounding and defending here, the wholehearted self-realization of autonomous willing, or autonomous self-fulfillment, is principled authenticity. Every time an agent truly acts for the sake of the moral law, she realizes moral worth, and thereby subjectively experiences an aspect of, or some salient degrees of, an ideally complete life of principled authenticity. But if she also thereby achieves some individual or socially-shared human happiness, then she also realizes a proper part of the sole and complete good. Thus according to Kant’s ethics as I am understanding it, and according to my non-intellectualist version of contemporary Kantian ethics, there are two fundamental values or highest goods:

(1) the Highest or Supreme Good, i.e., the good will, i.e., principled authenticity,


(2) the Sole and Complete Good, represented by the moral Idea of God,[xv] i.e., individual and social deep human happiness that is actively guided and controlled by a good will, which thereby expresses an ideal proportionality between moral virtue on the one hand and morally worthy happiness-as-self-fulfillment, spread out over all of humanity, on the other.

In turn, the relation between the Highest or Supreme Good and the Sole and Complete Good is essentialist and mereological. An occurrently autonomous human person’s good will, or principled authenticity, is the activating immanent structure (or “essential form”) of the vital stuffing (or “prime matter”) that is deep rational human happiness, and the living whole that is jointly constituted by them, propagated over all of rational humanity, is the Sole and Complete Good.

Contemporary Kantian ethicists and theorists of practical agency, as Kantian non-intellectualists, can therefore be defenders of strict deontological, non-egoistic, non-act-consequentialist, Existentialist, eudaemonism in ethics, even despite its being rather a mouthful to say. And in this regard, as in so many others, contemporary Kantian ethics can capture what is most defensible and true in Aristotelian ethics and Humean ethics alike, without collapsing into either egoism, act consequentialism, or classical eudaemonism.

3. 5  Conclusion

If the Kantian non-intellectualist theory of free agency that I have been spelling out and defending in this chapter is objectively true, as I think it is, then rational human animals, real persons, really and truly possess the kind of metaphysically robust freedom of the will — deep freedom, ultimate sourcehood, or up-to-me-ness — that fully supports moral responsibility in particular, but also fully supports the capacities for Kantian autonomy and principled authenticity. Then the Sole and Complete Good for real human persons is all of us, singly and collectively, getting what we most deeply want, in a way that is actively guided and controlled by the Highest or Supreme Good, i.e., a good will, according to the Categorical Imperative. This, in turn, is achieved by means of the innate dispositional emotion of respect which, when triggered, spontaneously generates a consciously experienced second-order volition that constitutes our higher-order wholehearted desire to achieve morally principled self-transcendence. So according to the Kantian non-intellectualist theory of free agency that I am presenting and defending, the passions “are, and only ought to be,” not the Humean enslavers of our rationality, but instead the vital engines of our pure practical reason.


[i] Many thanks to Spencer Case for formulating this worry.

[ii] This line of thinking is closely related to G.E. Moore’s arguments in Principia Ethica against The Naturalistic Fallacy, and in support of the primitiveness and irreducibility of The Good. Correspondingly, in Kantian Ethics and Human Existence, section 1.4, I develop a new-and-improved version of Moore’s notorious Open Question Argument that is specially reconfigured to fit my version of contemporary Kantian ethics.

Aside from the naturalistic fallacy, the other fundamental fallacy about rational normativity is the substitution of the 1D conception of rational normativity for the 2D conception. This fallacy, in turn, has two somewhat distinct meta-ethically untoward or even tragic sub-types: (i) thinking that any sort of moral disvlaue or wrongness, hence any sort of choice or action falling short of ideal goodness or rightness, entails the death of rational normativity, therefore non-agency, and therefore non-responsibility (Smerdyakov’s fallacy), and (ii) thinking that mere morally bad choice or action is the same as morally evil choice or action (moral puritanism). Morally puritanical fallacious moral thinking clearly underwrites such moral abominations as, e.g., Prohibition, drug-possession-and-use laws, “three strike” laws, deporting legal or illegal immigrant non-citizens for minor crimes, etc., etc.

[iii] See Hume, Treatise of Human Nature, book II, part III, section iii, p. 416.

[iv] See S. Budick, Kant and Milton Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press, 2010.

[v] In terms of the theory of knowledge I developed in Cognition, Content, and the A Priori, “categorical epistemology,” this Moorean paradigm of skepticism-proof knowledge counts as “High-Bar a posteriori knowledge.” See Hanna, Cognition, Content, and the A Priori, esp. section 1.3 and ch. 3. Unlike Moore, however, I also think that all skepticism-proof, High-Bar knowledge presupposes a (suitably weak, counterfactual) version of transcendental idealism; see Cognition, Content, and the A Priori, chs. 6–8.

[vi] B. Pascal, Pensées, trans. A.J. Krailsheimer (Harmondsworth, Middlesex, UK: Penguin Books, 1955), section 4, # 277, p. 154, translation modified slightly.

[vii] See, e.g., J. Sarasohn, Science on Trial: The Whistleblower, the Accused, and the Nobel Laureate (New York: St. Martin’s, 1993). This is an account of the notorious “David Baltimore case.”

[viii] See Hanna, Kant, Science, and Human Nature, ch. 7.

[ix] See R.M. Rilke, “Archaic Torso of Apollo,” trans. S. Mitchell, in R.M. Rilke, Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke (New York: Vintage Books, 1989), pp. 60–61.

[x] Selbstzufriedenheit could also be translated as “self-gratification” or “self-satisfaction.” But in English these have the unfortunate and misleading connotations of either masturbation (indeed this connotation in German was, not altogether suprisingly, made fun of by Nietzsche) or sanctimonious smugness. “Self-fulfillment” avoids these, and also captures the inherently teleogical character of Kant’s idea, because it includes the notions of self-determination and self-realization.

[xi] S. Kierkegaard, The Essential Kierkegaard, trans. H. Hong and E. Hong (Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press, 2000), p. 271.

[xii] Frankfurt, “Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person,” p. 21.

[xiii] See, e.g., Wikipedia, “The Daleks,” available online at URL = <>. The analogy is not absolutely perfect, because Daleks are always malevolent, whereas inauthenticity can also be benign. But the analogy is almost perfect, since Daleks are living conscious creatures who have literally turned themselves into machines.

[xiv] Cf. Hume, Treatise of Human Nature, book II, part III, section iii, p. 415.

[xv] This is the upshot of the third postulate, or “God postulate,” in the Postulates of Pure Practical Reason section in the Critique of Practical Reason, and also the upshot of Religion Within the Boundaries of Mere Reason — which really should have been entitled Religion Only Within the Limits of Pure Practical Reason. See note 231 above; and also Hanna, Kant, Agnosticism, and Anarchism, esp. part 1.

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