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Constituting Objectivity: Transcendental Perspectives on by Michel Bitbol, Pierre Kerszberg, Jean Petitot (eds.)

By Michel Bitbol, Pierre Kerszberg, Jean Petitot (eds.)

In recent times, many philosophers of contemporary physics got here to the realization that the matter of ways objectivity is constituted (rather than simply given) can now not be shunned, and hence transcendental procedure within the spirit of Kant is now philosophically correct. the standard excuse for skipping this job is that the ancient shape given by means of Kant to transcendental epistemology has been challenged via Relativity and Quantum Physics. besides the fact that, the real problem isn't to strength smooth physics right into a rigidly construed static model of Kant's philosophy, yet to supply Kant's procedure with flexibility and generality.

In this booklet, the head experts of the sector pin down the methodological middle of transcendental epistemology that needs to be utilized in order to throw gentle at the foundations of contemporary physics. First, the fundamental instruments Kant used for his transcendental analyzing of Newtonian Mechanics are tested, after which early transcendental ways of Relativistic and Quantum Physics are revisited. Transcendental approaches also are utilized to modern physics, and this renewed transcendental interpretation is ultimately in comparison with structural realism and positive empiricism. The ebook should be of curiosity to scientists, historians and philosophers who're eager about the foundational difficulties of recent physics.

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Extra resources for Constituting Objectivity: Transcendental Perspectives on Modern Physics

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Friedman Stanford University M. Bitbol et al. ), Constituting Objectivity, © Michael Friedman 2009 35 36 M. 1 What was most important for Newton was decisively to reject Descartes’s identification of matter with extension and to defend, accordingly, the concept of absolute (empty) space existing prior to and independently of matter. Yet Newton, like Descartes before him, also appropriated philosophical ideas from the neo-Platonic tradition,2 which he incorporated into his own metaphysics. , p. 3 In particular, absolute space or pure extension is even an affection of God himself, since God is omnipresent or everywhere.

In the second subsection of this second part of the book, we shift from general issues to more focused studies of modern theories of physics, starting with special and general Relativity. M. Friedman first exemplifies the idea of a relativized and historicized constitutive a priori by applying it to the theories of Relativity. To achieve this aim, he undertakes a historical analysis of the connection between geometry and kinematics by way of the principle of relativity of motion, from Kant to Einstein.

Let us now give a short outline of the chapters of this book. The first part is concerned by the history of transcendental epistemology, from Kant to the successive waves of neo-Kantianism. 24 M. Bitbol et al. As an indispensible initial step, M. Friedman and P. Kerszberg both examine Kant’s approach of Newtonian mechanics. M. Friedman studies the impact of the metaphysical and theological background of Newton’s thought on Kant’s conception of space and gravitational action at a distance. But he also shows in exquisite details how this pre-critical background was thoroughly transformed by transcendantal philosophy.

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