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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

(p.262) Kant on Science and Experience
Early Modern Philosophy

Michael Friedman

Oxford University Press

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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