In Michael Bennett McNulty (ed.), Kant's Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science: A Critical Guide. Cambridge University Press (forthcoming)

Lydia Patton
Virginia Tech
In this paper, building on recent and longstanding work (Warren 2001, Friedman 2013, Glezer 2018), I investigate how the account of the essences or natures of material substances in the Metaphysical Foundations is related to Kant’s demand for the completeness of the system of nature. We must ascribe causal powers to material substances for the properties of those substances to be observable and knowable. But defining those causal powers requires admitting laws of nature, taken as axioms or principles of natural science, which govern anything that can be constructed mathematically or “given as an object of experience” (MAN, 4:474–75). Presenting a complete system of nature requires adumbrating the properties of material substances that can be objects of experience. But it is not possible to show how those properties are involved in explanations of the phenomena without involving the laws that govern interactions between material substances. For Kant, or so I will argue, it is not possible to account for the natures of things, or for the features of laws of nature, independently of each other. The paper will substantiate the Finitist Account (FA) of Kant on laws. The Finitist Account has it that modal judgments about the possible proofs that can be made, or interactions that can be explained, are (1) based on concrete intuitive reasoning and motivated by the desire to avoid appeal to the actual infinite, (2) grounded in finite decision procedures, which are (3) based on reliable systems of axioms or rules of inference.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book Find it on
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

A Defense of Strict Finitism.J. P. Bendegem - 2012 - Constructivist Foundations 7 (2):141-149.
A Defense of Strict Finitism.J. P. Van Bendegem - 2012 - Constructivist Foundations 7 (2):141-149.
On the Coherence of Strict Finitism.Auke Alesander Montesano Montessori - 2019 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 33 (2):1-14.
On the Concept of Finitism.Luca Incurvati - 2015 - Synthese 192 (8):2413-2436.
Apophatic Finitism and Infinitism.Jan Heylen - 2019 - Logique Et Analyse 62 (247):319-337.
Foundations of Mathematics: From Hilbert and Wittgenstein to the Categorical Unity of Science.Yoshihiro Maruyama - 2020 - In A. C. Grayling, Shyam Wuppuluri, Christopher Norris, Nikolay Milkov, Oskari Kuusela, Danièle Moyal-Sharrock, Beth Savickey, Jonathan Beale, Duncan Pritchard, Annalisa Coliva, Jakub Mácha, David R. Cerbone, Paul Horwich, Michael Nedo, Gregory Landini, Pascal Zambito, Yoshihiro Maruyama, Chon Tejedor, Susan G. Sterrett, Carlo Penco, Susan Edwards-Mckie, Lars Hertzberg, Edward Witherspoon, Michel ter Hark, Paul F. Snowdon, Rupert Read, Nana Last, Ilse Somavilla & Freeman Dyson (eds.), Wittgensteinian : Looking at the World From the Viewpoint of Wittgenstein’s Philosophy. Springer Verlag. pp. 245-274.
On the Coherence of Wittgensteinian Constructivism.Amit Saad - 2016 - Acta Analytica 31 (4):455-462.


Added to PP index

Total views
49 ( #229,446 of 2,499,704 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
18 ( #46,501 of 2,499,704 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes