Kant on Rational Cosmology

Eric Watkins

in Kant and the Sciences

Published in print March 2001 | ISBN: 9780195133059
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199786169 | DOI:
 Kant on Rational Cosmology

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This paper discusses Kant’s acceptance of four principles of rational cosmology: the principles of no fate, no chance, no leap (or continuity), and no gap. It argues that these principles are neither purely analytic nor identical to the epistemological principles of the first Critique. Rather, they represent genuine, distinctively ontological principles that underlie the principles of empirical cosmology, which would be discovered empirically. This interpretation suggests that for Kant, philosophy is not governed exclusively by demands stemming from Newtonian science or by attempts at mediating between it and common sense, but by ontological demands as well.

Keywords: Kant; Critique of Pure Reason; cosmology; fate; chance; continuity; leap; philosophy of science; Newtonian science

Chapter.  10395 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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