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The Philosophy of the Young KantThe Precritical Project$
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Martin Schönfeld

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780195132182

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0195132181.001.0001

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f o u r f o u r The Conversion to Newton

f o u r f o u r The Conversion to Newton

(p.73) F O U R The Conversion to Newton
The Philosophy of the Young Kant

Martin Schöneld

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores Kant’s studies from 1754 to 1757, the application of his dynamic perspectives to fire, tides, the Earth’s rotation, climate, winds, and earthquakes. Section 1 surveys the background of Kant’s efforts in the 1750s, such as how his earthquake papers relate to the Lisbon tsunami (1755), and describes his co-discovery of sea wind patterns and his discovery of the monsoon dynamics. Section 2 examines Kant’s study of the fate of Earth’s rotation (1754) and its correct determination of the dynamic interplay among lunar period, tidal forces, oceanic friction, and the long-term slowdown of Earth’s rotation. Section 3 discusses Kant’s Master’s Thesis (1755), his chemical conjectures on fire, and his attempt to clarify the spatial energy field, the ether. Section 4 examines Kant’s qualitative approach to cosmological questions and his heuristic reliance on analogical reasoning.

Keywords:   spin cycle, Meditation on Fire, Universal Natural History, West Winds, On Winds, earthquake, Huygens, Newton, Lisbon, seismology

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