Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Theory and Criticism


Dr. Stephen G. Lofts


With the Critique of Practical Reason, Immanuel Kant became known for his provocative claim that human freedom, insofar as it proves itself as the fact of pure practical reason, forms the original ground of the whole of the system of pure reason. The purpose of this paper shall consist in submitting this fact to critique in the Kantian sense. For this we will be looking to the work of Emmanuel Levinas, who had assumed the task of subjecting the ontological concept of freedom that we find in Kant’s philosophy to a critical interrogation. Where Levinas had expressed a certain “affinity” for Kantianism, it shall be our position, in opposition to that of the existing scholarship on the subject, that it was because Kant, with his notion of practical freedom, had succeeded in making ethics, in the very sense Levinas had understood it, the condition and highest possibility of pure reason.



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