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Kant and the Sciences$
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Eric Watkins

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195133059

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0195133056.001.0001

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Kant on Rational Cosmology

Kant on Rational Cosmology

(p.70) 4 Kant on Rational Cosmology
Kant and the Sciences

Eric Watkins (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

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

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