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Annual Spring Symposium

Saturday, April 22, 2017
1210 McClung Tower

KantThe Many Faces of Kantian Freedom

Kant refers to freedom as the "keystone" or the "cardinal point" of his entire philosophy. Kant is perhaps chiefly concerned with the freedom of will that we take ourselves to have as moral agents whose choices merit praise or blame. However, freedom (as well as the closely related idea of "spontaneity") plays a central role in other central areas of Kant's philosophy as well: in his epistemology, he holds that that we freely judge the natural world in response to sensible input; and his aesthetics famously centres around the notion of a "free play" of imagination and intellect. This colloquium brings together Kant scholars that have explored these different faces of Kantian freedom in their work, and thus it hopes to shed light on how the many different (metaphysical, ethical, epistemological, and aesthetic) dimensions of Kantian freedom are to be understood in their own right and in relation to each other.


  • Anne Margaret Baxley (Univ. of Washington in St. Louis)
  • Markus Kohl (UT Knoxville)
  • Andrews Reath (UC Riverside)
  • Eric Watkins (UC San Diego)


  • 8:45 – 9:30: Breakfast
  • 9:30 – 11:00
    Anne Margaret Baxley, Washington University, St. Louis
    “Self-Rule, Inner Freedom, and Moral Contentment: Kant on the Rewards of Virtue”
  • 11:00 – 12:30
    Andrews Reath, University of California, Riverside
    “Autonomy and the Idea of Freedom”
  • 12:30 – 2:00: Lunch
  • 2:00 – 3:30
    Markus Kohl,
    University of Tennessee, Knoxville
    “Can There Be Kantian Freedom of Imagination?”
  • 3:30 – 5:00
    Eric Watkins, University of California, San Diego
    “Kant on Cognition of Freedom”
  • 5:00 – 6:00: Informal Reception

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