This introduction consists of two parts. In the first part, the special issue editors introduce inductive metaphysics from a historical as well as from a systematic point of view and discuss what distinguishes it from other modern approaches to metaphysics. In the second part, they give a brief summary of the individual articles in this special issue.
The main thesis of this article is that in Christian Wolff’s Deutsche Metaphysik, empirical sources of knowledge play important if not foundational roles and that inductive methods of reasoning are extensively applied. It is argued that experiential self-awareness plays a foundational role and that empirical evidence, phenomena, and scientific theories from the empirical sciences of Wolff’s time are used for inferential purposes. Wolff also makes use of inductive reasoning, i.e., abduction to hidden causes of empirical phenomena, and inferences to the (...) best or to the only possible explanation. Wolff’s Deutsche Metaphysik is therefore a prefiguration and an interesting case of inductive metaphysics in the contemporary sense. From this contemporary perspective, Wolff draws the distinction between valid and speculative abductions in a different way – but it is also different from that of his more empirically oriented contemporaries. (shrink)
Does matter consist of the simple or is it divisible into infinity? This is the question posed by the second antinomy of the Critique of Pure Reason. In this first comprehensive systematic study of the antinomy of division, its derivation, the proofs for thesis and antithesis as well as the resolution are analysed. The developmental and historical dimensions of the topic are also discussed. The study shows that although the antinomy of division is on the one hand a critique of (...) metaphysics, it nevertheless achieves a positive result for Kant's transcendental philosophy: On the one hand, the resolution of the antinomy represents a conceptual sharpening of realism and idealism as well as of the transcendental concept of appearance. On the other hand, it shows that the structure of matter is conditioned by a priori determinations of reason and understanding. These insights are highly relevant not only for Kant's enterprise of an a priori foundation of the natural sciences, but also for the problem of the soul. (shrink)
La critique de la métaphysique dans la Dialectique transcendantale de la Critique de la raison pure débouche sur la doctrine de l’usage régulateur des idées transcendantales de la raison pure. La théorie de l’usage régulateur de ces idées est relativement abstraite et demande à être clarifiée. Kant affirme que ces idées ont un usage dans les sciences empiriques. Cependant il ne spécifie pas quel usage les sciences peuvent faire de ces idées. Dans cet article je compare les caractéristiques des idées (...) transcendantales aux caractéristiques des modèles scientifiques. Ainsi la thèse principale de mon article est que la théorie kantienne de l’usage régulateur des idées est comparable à la modélisation en science. C’est ce que je nomme « l’approche modélisatrice des idées transcendantales chez Kant ». D’après cette interprétation, on trouve chez ce dernier une conception relativement élaborée de la modélisation que l’on peut comprendre comme signifiant que la métaphysique fournit aux sciences les formes les plus universelles de modèles qui peuvent être spécifiés pour des objectifs particuliers par les sciences. (shrink)
This volume congregates articles of leading philosophers about potentials and potentiality in all areas of philosophy and the empirical sciences in which they play a relevant role. It is the first encompassing collection of articles on the metaphysics of potentials and potentiality.
Kant’s theory of arithmetic is not only a central element in his theoretical philosophy but also an important contribution to the philosophy of arithmetic as such. However, modern mathematics, especially non-Euclidean geometry, has placed much pressure on Kant’s theory of mathematics. But objections against his theory of geometry do not necessarily correspond to arguments against his theory of arithmetic and algebra. The goal of this article is to show that at least some important details in Kant’s theory of arithmetic can (...) be picked up, improved by reconstruction and defended under a contemporary perspective: the theory of numbers as products of rule following construction presupposing successive synthesis in time and the theory of arithmetic equations, sentences or “formulas”—as Kant says—as synthetic a priori. In order to do so, two calculi in terms of modern mathematics are introduced which formalise Kant’s theory of addition as a form of synthetic operation. (shrink)
Kant's theory of arithmetic is not only a central element in his theoretical philosophy but also an important contribution to the philosophy of arithmetic as such. However, modern mathematics, especially non-Euclidean geometry, has placed much pressure on Kant's theory of mathematics. But objections against his theory of geometry do not necessarily correspond to arguments against his theory of arithmetic and algebra. The goal of this article is to show that at least some important details in Kant's theory of arithmetic can (...) be picked up, improved by reconstruction and defended under a contemporary perspective: the theory of numbers as products of rule following construction presupposing successive synthesis in time and the theory of arithmetic equations, sentences or "formulas"—as Kant says—as synthetic a priori. In order to do so, two calculi in terms of modern mathematics are introduced which formalise Kant's theory of addition as a form of synthetic operation. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to motivate a view on dispositions according to which dispositions and their manifestations are partially identical, the DM identity theory. It sets out by extrapolating the desiderata of a dispositionalist account of properties. It then shows that the previous theories are burdened with different problems, whose common cause, so the argument goes, is the separation assumption, which almost all share. It states that dispositions and their manifestations are numerically distinct. The paper then explores whether (...) the separation assumption can be abandoned and shows that there are precursors of a DM identity theory. The DM identity theory is then outlined in its central features and it is outlined how they can fulfil the desiderata of dispositionalism. (shrink)
Metaphysics, traditionally conceived, has often been defined as the inquiry into what lies beyond or is independent of experience, but which nonetheless pertains to the fundamental structure of reality. Thus understood, metaphysics produces claims that are not empirically testable. The 20th century logical empiricists famously—and ferociously—criticised metaphysics on these grounds as being devoid of cognitive content. Despite logical empiricism’s seminal role in the genesis and propagation of the analytic tradition in academic philosophy, metaphysics has made a remarkable comeback during the (...) second half of the 20th century. Contemporary analytic metaphysicians unabashedly refer to intuitions, conceptual analysis, and other genuinely philosophical, speculative methods in their search for insights into the fundamental nature of reality. Or so it seems. (shrink)
To do philosophy at any sustained level involves an encounter with Kant. This collection from top contributors unpacks his notoriously dense and complex ideas and presents them in a form manageable for the beginning student.
Immanuel Kant is among the most pivotal thinkers in the history of philosophy. His transcendental idealism claims to overcome the skepticism of David Hume, resolve the impasse between empiricism and rationalism, and establish the reality of human freedom and moral agency. A thorough understanding of Kant is indispensable to any philosopher today. The significance of Kant's thought is matched by its complexity. His revolutionary ideas are systematically interconnected and he presents them using a forbidding technical vocabulary. A careful investigation of (...) the key concepts that structure Kant's work is essential to the comprehension of his philosophical project. This book provides an accessible introduction to Kant by explaining each of the key concepts of his philosophy. The book is organized into three parts, which correspond to the main areas of Kant's transcendental idealism: Theoretical Philosophy; Practical Philosophy; and, Aesthetics, Teleology, and Religion. Each chapter presents an overview of a particular topic, while the whole provides a clear and comprehensive account of Kant's philosophical system. (shrink)
Das seit einigen Jahren wachsende Interesse an Fragen der philosophischen Ethik scheint ungebrochen. Dabei ergeben sich durch die Auseinandersetzungen mit den unterschiedlichen Formen und Konzepten der Moralphilosophie Spannungen, aus denen ein heute kaum noch überschaubarer Pluralismus der Ethiken hervorgegangen ist. Dieser Pluralismus lässt sich jedoch im wesentlichen auf zwei unterschiedliche Begründungskonzepte zurückführen: Universalismus und Relativismus. Der von Heidemann und Engelhard vorgelegte Band untersucht die beiden Konzepte sowohl in philosophiegeschichtlicher als auch in systematischer Hinsicht. Pluspunkte umfassendes Kompendium geeignet als Einführung in (...) die Thematik sowie zur Vertiefung einzelner Positionen berücksichtigt neue Positionen in der Ethikbegründung. (shrink)