European Journal of Philosophy 26 (1):589-613 (2018)

James Messina
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Prolegomena §38 is intended to elucidate the claim that the understanding legislates a priori laws to nature. Kant cites various laws of geometry as examples and discusses a derivation of the inverse-square law from such laws. I address 4 key interpretive questions about this cryptic text that have not yet received satisfying answers: How exactly are Kant's examples of laws supposed to elucidate the Legislation Thesis? What is Kant's view of the epistemic status of the inverse-square law and, relatedly, of the legitimacy of the geometric derivation of that law? Whose account of laws, the understanding, and space is Kant critiquing in the passage? What positive account of the relationship between laws, the understanding, and space is Kant offering in the passage? My answer to depends crucially on my answers to –. As I interpret Kant, he holds that a wide range of a priori laws—including geometric laws, the inverse-square law, and the universal laws discussed in the Analytic of Principles—are ‘grounded’ in categorial syntheses rather than the intrinsic nature of the space given to us in pure intuition.
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DOI 10.1111/ejop.12286
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References found in this work BETA

Critique of Pure Reason.Wolfgang Schwarz - 1966 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 26 (3):449-451.
Kant.Paul Guyer - 2007 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 69 (4):767-767.
Critique of Pure Reason.Günter Zöller - 2002 - Philosophical Review 111 (1):113.

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Kant-Bibliographie 2018.Margit Ruffing - 2020 - Kant Studien 111 (4):647-702.

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