I argue that Kant has developed a broad systematic account of the architectonic functionality of pure reason that can be used and advanced in contemporary contexts. Reason, in the narrow sense, is responsible for the picture of a well-ordered universe of science consisting of architectonic ideas of science, sciences and parts of sciences. In the first section (I), I show what Kant means by the architectonic ideas by explaining and interrelating the concepts of (a) the faculty of reason, (b) ideas (...) (as principles), (c) method, and (d) sciences of reason. Thereafter (II), I think through his holistic understanding of science and scientific progress and suggest differentiating between four levels of use of architectonic ideas, drawing on the metaphor of a well-structured universe as imagined by Kant in his work on the Universal Natural History and Theory of the Heavens. I also claim that each possible idea of reason can be (apart from its primary function) additionally regarded as a fourth-level architectonic concept when explicitly conceived as an object of (e. g. philosophical) studies, i. e. from a mere methodological perspective. In the final section (III), I unveil the potential of Kant’s theory by pointing out how this architectonic methodological function of pure reason is tacitly used in Karl-Otto Apel’s contemporary philosophical research programme. You can get the official version of the paper and the whole issue (open access) by clicking on the attached link. (shrink)
Kant rejects Leibniz’s Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles. In quantum mechanics, Leibniz’s principle is also apparently violated. However, both ways of rejecting the PII differ significantly. In particular, Kant denies that spatiotemporal objects are unique individuals and establishes appearances as merely singular ones. The distinction between ‘unique’ and ‘singular’ individuals is crucial for the role that intuition plays in cognition: it will be shown that Kant’s way of rejecting the PII goes against the standard versions of conceptualism and non-conceptualism (...) which, in turn, points out the relevance of this issue for the understanding of transcendental idealism. Finally, the systematic relevance will be checked by defending a Kantian interpretation of quantum individuality. (shrink)
Kant was centrally concerned with issues in the philosophy of natural science throughout his career. The Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science presents his most mature reflections on these themes in the context of both his 'critical' philosophy, presented in the Critique of Pure Reason, and the natural science of his time. This volume presents a translation by Michael Friedman which is especially clear and accurate. There are explanatory notes indicating some of the main connections between the argument of the Metaphysical (...) Foundations and the first Critique - as well as parallel connections to Newton's Principia. The volume is completed by an historical and philosophical introduction and a guide to further reading. (shrink)
Kant’s philosophy of science takes on sharp contour in terms of his interaction with the practicing life scientists of his day, particularly Johann Blumenbach and the latter’s student, Christoph Girtanner, who in 1796 attempted to synthesize the ideas of Kant and Blumenbach. Indeed, Kant’s engagement with the life sciences played a far more substantial role in his transcendental philosophy than has been recognized hitherto. The theory of epigenesis, especially in light of Kant’s famous analogy in the first Critique, posed crucial (...) questions regarding the ‘looseness of fit’ between the constitutive and the regulative in Kant’s theory of empirical law. A detailed examination of Kant’s struggle with epigenesis between 1784 and 1790 demonstrates his grave reservations about its hylozoist implications, leading to his even stronger insistence on the discrimination of constitutive from regulative uses of reason. The continuing relevance of these issues for Kant’s philosophy of science is clear from the work of Buchdahl and its contemporary reception. (shrink)
Anthropology was a new field of study when Kant first began lecturing on it in 1772, and Kant himself was the first academic to teach regular courses in this area. As is well known, his own approach to anthropology is self-described as ‘pragmatic’, and Kant’s pragmatic anthropology differs markedly from the anthropologies that other early contributors to the new discipline were advocating. In this essay I focus on a fundamental feature of Kant’s anthropology that has been under-appreciated in previous discussions; (...) namely, the particular conception of human nature that he believes anthropology, when pursued properly, leads to. I call this conception a cosmopolitan conception of human nature. In addition to establishing the central importance of this idea for Kant’s project in anthropology, I also try in this essay to unravel some of its ambiguities and tensions as well as to highlight its underlying moral motives. The cosmopolitan conception of human nature that is central to Kant’s anthropology is a further indication of the significance of his anthropology for ethics.Keywords: Immanuel; Kant; Anthropology; Pragmatic; Cosmopolitan; Human nature. (shrink)
The essay, ‘A renewed attempt to answer the question: “Is the human race continually improving?”’ appeared as Part II of Kant’s 1798 publication, The conflict of the faculties, where it was subordinated under a second title: ‘The conflict of the philosophy faculty with the faculty of law’. How did this new situation affects the meaning of the essay? My argument considers first, the conflict of the faculty of philosophy with the faculty of law; second, the earlier philosophy of history Kant (...) had developed; and, finally, the revision of this position in ‘A renewed attempt’. The situation of his argument in the contest between the philosophical and the legal faculties points to other veins of argumentation in Kant’s political theory, particularly his appeal to a principle of publicity, but they hardly achieve the theoretical clarity or the systematic centrality they should command. They are displaced in the quest for prediction of the future history of mankind. The question of human progress exceeds the frame of the coordination of the university, and the main question must remain: what was new in Kant’s approach to the question of human progress, and was it in fact an enhancement of his philosophy of history? In those terms, ‘A renewed attempt’ must be regarded a distinct failure. Its innovations prove problematic. Its retreats and equivocations, moreover, threaten to undermine the grander vision of Kant’s philosophical history and his political theory, entangling them in an unacceptably theological recourse.Keywords: Immanuel Kant; Philosophy of history; Progress; Publicity; Providence. (shrink)
This paper examines Kant’s anthropological project and its relationship to his conception of ‘man’ in order to show that Kant’s answer to the question ‘what is man?’ entails a decisive re-evaluation of traditional conceptions of human nature. I argue that Kant redirects the question ‘what is man?’ away from defining man in terms of what he is, and towards defining him in terms of what he does, in particular through the distinction between three levels of what I will call ‘man’s (...) praxis’: the levels of technicality, prudence, and morality. As soon as man is understood in terms of what he makes of himself rather than in terms of what he is, two crucial issues arise: what is the purpose of his making? And how can he reach this destination? My claim is that whilst the first question is answered by ethics and a doctrine of prudence, the second question is answered by anthropology. In this sense, anthropology plays the crucial role of identifying the worldly helps and hindrances to the realisation of man’s purposes—and this is the reason why it should be understood as a ‘pragmatic’ discipline.Keywords: Immanuel; Kant; Pragmatic; Anthropology; Praxis; Aliens; Human nature. (shrink)
One of the perennially intriguing questions regarding Kant’s approach to the human sciences is the relation between his ‘transcendental psychology’ and empirical cognitive psychology. In this paper I compare his analysis of the a priori conditions of human cognition in the Critique of pure reason with his empirical account of the human cognitive faculties in his Anthropology from a pragmatic point of view. In comparing his approach to self-consciousness, sensibility, imagination, and understanding in these two works, I argue that Kant (...) distinguishes between the transcendental and empirical aspects of the human cognitive faculties, and regards the transcendental functions as configuring the empirical faculties of human consciousness, or as giving them the structure that they require to become faculties of cognition. I then show that the cognitive faculties of human beings may vary in their empirical operation, even while they are configured by the same transcendental structure. Finally, I characterize Kant’s transcendental psychology in the first Critique as an account of the faculties that are required for a mind to be an agent or subject of cognition, corresponding to his account of the conditions that are required universally and necessarily for something to be an object of cognition.Keywords: Immanuel Kant; Anthropology; Psychology; Cognition; Transcendental; Empirical. (shrink)
It is argued that geometrical intuition, as conceived in Kant, is still crucial to the epistemological foundations of mathematics. For this purpose, I have chosen to target one of the most sympathetic interpreters of Kant's philosophy of mathematics – Michael Friedman – because he has formulated the possible historical limitations of Kant's views most sharply. I claim that there are important insights in Kant's theory that have survived the developments of modern mathematics, and thus, that they are not so intrinsically (...) bound up with the logic and mathematics of Kant's time as Friedman will have it. These insights include the idea that mathematical knowledge relies on the manipulation of objects given in quasi-perceptual intuition, as Charles Parsons has argued, and that pure intuition is a source of knowledge of space itself that cannot be replaced by mere propositional knowledge. In particular, it is pointed out that it is the isomorphism between Kantian intuition and a spatial manifold that underlies both the epistemic intimacy of the most fundamental type of geometrical intuition as well as that of perceptual acquaintance. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to show that for Kant, a combination of epigenesis and monogenesis is the condition of possibility of anthropology as he conceives of it and that moreover, this has crucial implications for the biological dimension of his account of human nature. More precisely, I begin by arguing that Kant’s conception of mankind as a natural species is based on two premises: firstly the biological unity of the human species (monogenesis of the human races); and secondly (...) the existence of ‘seeds’ which may or may not develop depending on the environment (epigenesis of human natural predispositions). I then turn to Kant’s account of man’s natural predispositions and show that far from being limited to the issue of races, it encompasses unexpected human features such as gender, temperaments and nations. These predispositions, I argue, are means to the realisation of Nature’s overall purpose for the human species. This allows me to conclude that man’s biological determinism leads to the species’ preservation, cultivation and civilisation. (shrink)
This _Companion_ provides an authoritative survey of the whole range of Kant’s work, giving readers an idea of its immense scope, its extraordinary achievement, and its continuing ability to generate philosophical interest. Written by an international cast of scholars Covers all the major works of the critical philosophy, as well as the pre-critical works Subjects covered range from mathematics and philosophy of science, through epistemology and metaphysics, to moral and political philosophy.
Kant's general purpose in the first half of his Critique of Pure Reason is to explain the empirical knowledge of the world within the framework of Newtonian physics. Here, the principles of understanding and, particularly, the principles of the relation group are of a higher level of importance. In this paper, through a study of Kant's claims and arguments concerning the third principle of the relation group and considering its relation with the mental succession of ideas in the faculty of (...) imagination, as well as the second principle of this group, the writers deal with the problem of the success of Kant's plan for the philosophical clarification of the third law of Newtonian physics. They also intended to know if the above-mentioned plan is in conformity with other analogies or not. (shrink)
This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work. This work is in the public domain (...) in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work. As a reproduction of a historical artifact, this work may contain missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. We appreciate your support of the preservation process, and thank you for being an important part of keeping this knowledge alive and relevant. (shrink)
This thesis attempts to argue against an influential interpretation of Kant's philosophy of mathematics according to which the role of pure intuition is primarily logical. Kant's appeal to pure intuition, and consequently his belief in the synthetic character of mathematics, is, on this view, a result of the limitations of the logical resources available in his time. In contrast to this, a reading is presented of the development of Kant's philosophy of mathematics which emphasises a much richer philosophical role for (...) intuition, beyond that of filling in deductive gaps in mathematical arguments. This role is largely determined by two factors: on the one hand, the epistemological gap in a traditional account of mathematical certainty, and on the other hand, the metaphysical worry raised by the followers of Leibniz and Wolff regarding the status of mathematics as a science consisting of truths. ;By appreciating how Kant's philosophy of mathematics developed against the background of what he saw as a conflict between the 'metaphysicians' and the 'mathematicians', we can see how the doctrine of pure intuition was required to fill the gaps in the account of the method and certainty of mathematics which Kant presents in the Prize Essay of 1764. This conflict takes its sharpest form between the monadists who uphold the metaphysical necessity of simple elements, and the geometers who uphold the infinite divisibility of space. In the Prize Essay Kant indirectly addresses this conflict by comparing the two disciplines. He asserts that the method of attaining certainty in mathematics is different from the method of metaphysics, and that as a result of this difference--primarily the different roles of definitions in each--mathematics is capable of a higher degree of certainty than metaphysics. He does not, however, explain this difference. Such an explanation seems particularly important in light of Kant's wish to secure geometry against the challenge of metaphysics. This thesis attempts to show that it is to provide such an explanation, to provide a philosophical grounding for the Prize Essay account, that Kant invokes the doctrine of pure intuition in his later account of mathematical knowledge. (shrink)
The question of the dimensionality of space has informed the development of physics since the beginning of the twentieth century in the quest for a unified picture of quantum processes and gravitation. Scientists have worked within various approaches to explain why the universe appears to have a certain number of spatial dimensions. The question of why space has three dimensions has a genuinely philosophical nature that can be shaped as a problem of justifying a contingent necessity of the world. In (...) contrast to explanations of three-dimensionality based on anthropic arguments, we support the search for a theory that provides a justification for the dimensionality of space based on a combination of deductive and inductive reasoning applied to science. In doing so, we argue that Kant correctly approached the question in “Thoughts on the true estimation of living forces” by connecting space dimensionality and the inverse square law. In expounding the strategy of Kant’s argument, we describe the main features of a general Kantian explanation of the dimensionality of space and discuss them with respect to current accounts of explanation in the philosophy of science, such as inference to the best explanation and the deductive-nomological model. (shrink)
In this book, David Stump traces alternative conceptions of the a priori in the philosophy of science and defends a unique position in the current debates over conceptual change and the constitutive elements in science. Stump emphasizes the unique epistemological status of the constitutive elements of scientific theories, constitutive elements being the necessary preconditions that must be assumed in order to conduct a particular scientific inquiry. These constitutive elements, such as logic, mathematics, and even some fundamental laws of nature, were (...) once taken to be a priori knowledge but can change, thus leading to a dynamic or relative a priori. Stump critically examines developments in thinking about constitutive elements in science as a priori knowledge, from Kant’s fixed and absolute a priori to Quine’s holistic empiricism. By examining the relationship between conceptual change and the epistemological status of constitutive elements in science, Stump puts forward an argument that scientific revolutions can be explained and relativism can be avoided without resorting to universals or absolutes. (shrink)
Marburg Neo-Kantianism has attracted substantial interest among contemporary philosophers drawn by its founding idea that the success of advanced theoretical science is a given fact and it is the task of philosophical inquiry to ground the objectivity of scientific achievement in its a priori sources (Cohen and Natorp 1906, p. i). The Marburg thinkers realized that recent advances and developments in the mathematical sciences had changed the character of Kant’s transcendental project, demanding new methods and approaches to establish the objectivity (...) of the latest insights into physical reality. Hermann Cohen, one of the founders of the Marburg School, attempted to base the objectivity of science on the concepts of .. (shrink)
This is the first full English translation of Bernard Bolzano's masterwork, the Theory of Science (1837)--a monumental and revolutionary study in logic, epistemology, heuristics, and scientific methodology. Each volume includes an introduction which illuminates the historical context of Bolzano's work and its continuing relevance.
Biology in the Critical Philosophy and the Opus postumum Hein van den Berg. Parts of Chap. 2 have been previously published in Hein van den Berg (2011), “ Kant's Conception of Proper Science.” Synthese 183 (1): 7–26. Parts of Chap.
In Chapter I, I discuss Buchdahl’s view that the possibility of empirical lawlikeness could not have been established in the Principles of the Critique given the differences between transcendental, metaphysical and empirical lawlikeness, and the connection between the faculty of Reason and empirical lawlikeness. I then discuss the general conditions for empirical hypotheses according to Kant, which include the justification of the method by which an empirical hypothesis is obtained and the establishment of the general and specific constructability of the (...) empirical concept. -/- *In Chapter II, I discuss the nature of the general construction of concepts which is treated in the Schematism of the Critique, surveying the views of Pippin, Allison, Bennett and Butts in an effort both to make sense of a difficult part of the Critique and to demonstrate that the Schematism is indeed where Kant demonstrates how the construction of empirical concepts in general is possible. -/- *In Chapter III, I discuss Brittan’s and Butts’ views on the nature of the specific construction of empirical concepts, defending Butts’ interpretation as compatible with Buchdahl’s view that gaps exist between kinds of lawlikeness for Kant and, because of its connection with an interpretation of how metaphysical lawlikeness figures in the Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science, insofar as it helps us to establish the possibility of empirical lawlikeness and natural science. (shrink)
It is often claimed (most recently by Michael Friedman) that Kant intended to justify Newton’s most fundamental claims expressed in the Principia, such as his laws of motion and the law of universal gravitation. In this article, I argue that the differences between Newton’s laws of motion and Kant’s laws of mechanics are not superficial or merely apparent. Rather, they reflect fundamental differences in their respective projects. This point can be seen especially clearly by considering the nature of the various (...) projects undertaken in Germany prior to Kant that discuss the laws of motion. Wolff and his followers qua metaphysicians were especially interested in providing nonempirical justifications of their laws of motion as well as an intelligible account of the fundamental properties of bodies in terms of substance, accident, and force. Maupertuis and Euler, despite often being seen as Newtonians, both drew on traditions other than Newton’s. Physics textbooks (by figures such as Erxleben, Karsten, ‘s Gravesande, and Musschenbroek) vary considerably in their aims, but in none of these cases is Newton’s main argument of the Principia presented. In light of the fact that these projects are distinct in significant ways from Newton’s project, the differences between Newton’s laws of motion and Kant’s laws of mechanics are most likely not merely apparent but reflect the fact that Kant, too, was pursuing a project fundamentally distinct from Newton’s. (shrink)
1Department of Philosophy, University of South Florida, 4202 East Fowler Avenue, Tampa, FL 33620, USAKant and the Sciences Eric Watkins Oxford and New York Oxford University Press 2001 xiii + 290 Hardback£47.00, $52.00.