Home » Moral Moorings and Freedom of the Will: Kants Influence On Sartres Ethics by Oliver Pierce
Moral Moorings and Freedom of the Will: Kants Influence On Sartres Ethics Oliver Pierce

Moral Moorings and Freedom of the Will: Kants Influence On Sartres Ethics

Oliver Pierce

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9 pages
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 About the Book 

n our increasingly middle-class culture, freedom and free will are considered to be the status quo. Most educated members of western society assent that this concept is essential to understanding our place on earth and ethical behavior. They believeMoren our increasingly middle-class culture, freedom and free will are considered to be the status quo. Most educated members of western society assent that this concept is essential to understanding our place on earth and ethical behavior. They believe they are where they are because of their choices and their hard work. Not surprisingly, one of the most popular philosophical traditions of our time, which has reached far beyond the academic world into film and literature, existentialism, has the freedom of the will as one of its chief doctrines, though of course the definitions of philosophers often do not line up with the public interpretation. Yet, we must ask where did this idea come from? None of these ideas spring forth from a vacuum. Rather, they are often in reaction to other postulations, a correction, a reinterpretation, or even a complete reactionary rejection of another worldview. Arguably, Immanuel Kant’s philosophy and ethics, as seen in the Critique and Groundwork, opened up the world to counter-philosophies such as existentialism and their puzzling doctrines of freewill. Moreover, other critics, such as Cherkasova and Baldwin, contend that Kant himself actually expressed views very similar to existentialists like Jean Paul Sartre in his later work, Religion Within the Limits of Reason Alone. Either way, in his overall philosophical work, Kant setup an unforgettable framework- Sartre is much indebted to the groundwork he laid, as fraught with error as it was. This paper will attempt to depict how Kant influenced Sartre in the realm of ethics and ontology and yet how, the two widely diverge from one another.