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Moral Freedom

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Ethics is Nicolai Hartmann's magnum opus on moral philosophy. Volume 1, Moral Phenomena, is concerned with the nature and structure of ethical phenomena. Volume 2, Moral Values, describes all values as forming a complex and imperfectly known system. The final volume, Moral Freedom, deals with one of the oldest puzzles in both philosophy and theology: the individual's freedom of the will.

Freedom of the will is a necessary precondition of morality. Without it, there is no morality in the full sense of the word. In Moral Freedom Hartmann sets out to refute the determinist view that freedom of the will is impossible. Following Kant, while rejecting his transcendentalism, Hartmann first discusses the tension between causality and the freedom of the will.

The tension between the determination by moral values and the freedom of the will is next examined, a crucial issue completely overlooked by Kant and virtually all other modern philosophers, but recognized by the scholastics. Why should we believe in the freedom of the will with regard to the moral values? Are there good reasons for thinking that it exists? If freedom of the will vis-a-vis the moral values does exist, how is it to be conceived? Moral Freedom concludes with the famous postscript on the antinomies between ethics and religion.

Hartmann's Ethics may well be the most outstanding treatise on moral philosophy in the twentieth century. Andreas Kinneging's introduction sheds light on the volume's continuing relevance.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
On Nicolai Hartmann’s Ethics “This is a remarkable and perhaps an epoch-making book. . . . Certainly Professor Hartmann has brought into the philosophy of morality and into purely ethical theory a refreshing vitality and acuteness. . . . So valuable a contribution to ethics has not been made for many years, and it gives promise of more to come. . . . It is a genuine contribution of new knowledge.” —C. Delisle Burns, International Journal of Ethics “In this work Professor Hartmann has covered the ethical field from end to end in a luminous survey which never loses its unity, its proportion, or its philosophic depth. . . . I agree so profoundly with his method and his main ethical conceptions, and I am so grateful for the strength and clarity of his exposition, that I can only end by thanking him for what he has done.” —J. L. Stocks, Philosophy
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765805942
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/27/2004
  • Series: Ethics Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,238,302
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

Andreas A.M. Kinneging studies political science at the Catholic University of Nijmegen. In 1990 he was appointed professor of political science at the University of Leiden. Currently he is director of research in the history of political theory in state agencies. He is the author of various works (in Dutch), including Liberalism in Political Economy, Philosophical Foundations of Liberalism, The Philosophy of Classical Liberalism, and briefer writings in the periodical literature.

Nicolai Hartmann (1882-1950) was born in 1882 in Riga, Latvia, to German parents. He studied philosophy and classics, first in St. Petersburg and later in Marburg, where he was appointed to a chair of philosophy in 1920. In 1931, after a short time at the University of Cologne, Hartmann was offered the prestigious chair of philosophy by the University of Berlin, where he lectured until the end of the war, untainted by Nazism. From 1945 until his death in 1950, he held a chair of philosophy at the University of Göttingen.

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