Kant's Construction of Nature: A Reading of the Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science

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Cambridge University Press, Jan 17, 2013 - History - 624 pages
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Kant's Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science is one of the most difficult but also most important of Kant's works. Published in 1786 between the first (1781) and second (1787) editions of the Critique of Pure Reason, the Metaphysical Foundations occupies a central place in the development of Kant's philosophy, but has so far attracted relatively little attention compared with other works of Kant's critical period. Michael Friedman's book develops a new and complete reading of this work and reconstructs Kant's main argument clearly and in great detail, explaining its relationship to both Newton's Principia and eighteenth-century scientific thinkers such as Euler and Lambert. By situating Kant's text relative to his pre-critical writings on metaphysics and natural philosophy and, in particular, to the changes Kant made in the second edition of the Critique, Friedman articulates a radically new perspective on the meaning and development of the critical philosophy as a whole.
 

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Contents

The place of the Metaphysical Foundations
1
Phoronomy
14
Matter as the movable in space
44
Dynamics
97
11
110
21
117
Material substance as infinitely divisible
143
Mechanics
265
46
376
52
388
Phenomenology
413
The complementary perspectives of
563
76
578
83
606
Bibliography
609
97
617

34
367

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About the author (2013)

Michael Friedman is Frederick P. Rhemus Family Professor of Humanities, Director of the Patrick Suppes Center for the History and Philosophy of Science and Professor of Philosophy at Stanford University. His more recent publications include Reconsidering Logical Positivism (Cambridge, 1999), A Parting of the Ways: Carnap, Cassirer, and Heidegger (2000) and Dynamics of Reason: The 1999 Kant Lectures at Stanford University (2001). Friedman is the editor and translator of Immanuel Kant: Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science (Cambridge, 2004) and co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to Carnap (with Richard Creath, Cambridge, 2007).

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