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Early Modern PhilosophyMind, Matter, and Metaphysics$
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Christia Mercer and Eileen O'Neill

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195177602

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0195177606.001.0001

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Kant on Science and Experience

Kant on Science and Experience

Chapter:
(p.262) Kant on Science and Experience
Source:
Early Modern Philosophy
Author(s):

Michael Friedman

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195177606.003.0015

This chapter argues that since Kant's model of properly scientific knowledge is the Newtonian theory of universal gravitation, Kant's view of science is not predicated on a sharp distinction between the “scientific image” and the “manifest image” of the world such as that familiar today. For Kant, the scientific image is simply a more precise and determinate version of the manifest image, and our contemporary opposition between scientific and ordinary experience — based, as it is, on a fundamental divergence between these two images — appears as entirely anachronistic and misplaced. For this reason, Kant's own examples of objects of experience — heavy bodies, houses, ships, freezing water, the earth, the moon, and the heavenly bodies, water rising due to capillarity, a stone being warmed by illumination of the sun, and so on — constitute what looks to us like a quite indiscriminate mix of “ordinary” and “scientific” cases.

Keywords:   Kant, Newtonian theory of universal gravitation, science, Metaphysical Foundations, scientific knowledge, objects of experience

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