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Kant, Science, and Human Nature$
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Robert Hanna

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199285549

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199285549.001.0001

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Mathematics for Humans

Mathematics for Humans

(p.287) 6 Mathematics for Humans
Kant, Science, and Human Nature

Robert Hanna (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines Kant's much-criticized views on mathematics in general and arithmetic in particular. It makes a case for the claim that Kant's theory of arithmetic is not subject to the most familiar and forceful objection against it, namely, that his doctrine of the dependence of arithmetic on time is plainly false, or even worse, simply unintelligible. It is argued that Kant's doctrine about time and arithmetic is highly original, fully intelligible, and with qualifications due to the inherent limitations of his conceptions of arithmetic and logic, to an important extent defensible. The most philosophically striking thing about Kant's doctrine is the fact that arithmetic turns out to be a paradigm of the exact sciences (exacten Naturwissenschaften) only by virtue of its ultimately being one of the human or moral sciences (Geisteswissenschaften).

Keywords:   arithmetic, transcendental realism, concept number, construction, exact sciences, moral sciences

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