Composed of three sections written at different times, The Conflict of the Faculties dwells on the eternal combat between the "lower" faculty of philosophy, which is answerable only to individual reason, and the faculties of theology, law, and medicine, which get "higher" precedence in the world of affairs and whose teachings and practices are of interest to the government. Kant makes clear, for example, the close alliance between the theological faculty and the government that sanctions its teachings and can resort to force and censorship. All the more vital and precious, then, the faculty of philosophy, which encourages independent thought before action. The first section, "The Conflict of the Philosophy Faculty with the Theology Faculty," is essentially a vindication of the right of the philosophical faculty to freedom of expression. In the other sections the philosopher takes a long and penetrating look at medicine and law, the one preserving the physical "temple" and the other regulating its actions.