Free Will versus Natural Necessity?
Stuart Greenstreet asks if they can be reconciled.
Immanuel Kant put a challenge to later philosophers which so far none has been able to meet. That we are free to choose is, he thought, a truth so intuitively self-evident that no one could argue our freedom away. Nor could we ever believe there’s a true contradiction between our freedom of action and the necessary application of the laws of nature, for we can’t give up the idea of nature any more than that of freedom. So even if we’re never able to work out how our freedom is possible, at least this apparent contradiction ought to be convincingly removed. For if it is ever shown that belief in our freedom contradicts nature we would have to stop believing we’re free and accept that all our actions are at root causally determined.