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Kant and the Laws of Nature


Eric Watkins, Karl Ameriks, Paul Guyer, Hannah Ginsborg, Rachel Zuckert, Thomas Teufel, James Messina, Michela Massimi, Daniel Warren, Michael Friedman, Marius Stan, Angela Breitenbach, Catherine Wilson
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  • Date Published: March 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107120983

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About the Authors
  • Laws of nature play a central role in Kant's theoretical philosophy and are crucial to understanding his philosophy of science in particular. In this volume of new essays, the first systematic investigation of its kind, a distinguished team of scholars explores Kant's views on the laws of nature in the physical and life sciences. Their essays focus particularly on the laws of physics and biology, and consider topics including the separation in Kant's treatment of the physical and life sciences, the relation between universal and empirical laws of nature, and the role of reason and the understanding in imposing order and lawful unity upon nature. The volume will be of great interest to advanced students and scholars of Kant's philosophy of science, and to historians and philosophers of science more generally.

    • The first systematic investigation of Kant's view on the laws of nature
    • The essays in the book are written by a distinguished team of contributors
    • Will appeal to advanced students and scholars of Kant's philosophy of science
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'There can be no doubt that this volume will prove a rich source for future discussions [of] issues regarding Kant and the laws of nature.' Journal of the History of Philosophy

    '… Kant's philosophy of natural science is a flourishing domain of scholarship, within which the notion of a law is absolutely critical. Kant and the Laws of Nature, which contains thirteen chapters from top-notch, international scholars on the title topic, is hence a text of transparent value to researchers working in this burgeoning area. The volume … offers substantial treatment of some of the most pressing and knotted issues in Kant scholarship, more broadly. Chapters concern the unity of practical and theoretical reason, the positive role reason plays in the generation of knowledge, Kant's conception of causality and answer to Hume's causal scepticism, the theoretical grounding of natural laws in Kant's general metaphysical picture, Kant's legacy in the history of physics, organisms and teleology, and the unity of nature. While the commentator specializing in Kant's theoretical philosophy or his conception of natural science will find the most of interest and use in the volume, almost any Kant scholar will find something edifying, illuminating and stimulating in this excellent book.' Michael Bennett McNulty, Kantian Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107120983
    • dimensions: 235 x 160 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.58kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. The Lawfulness of Nature:
    1. Kant on the unity and diversity of laws Eric Watkins
    2. On universality, necessity, and law in general Karl Ameriks
    3. Imperfect knowledge of nature: Kant, Hume and laws of nature Paul Guyer
    Part II. The Systematicity of Nature:
    4. Why must we presuppose the systematicity of nature? Hannah Ginsborg
    5. Empirical scientific investigation and the ideas of reason Rachel Zuckert
    6. Kant's transcendental principle of purposiveness and the 'maxim of the lawfulness of empirical laws' Thomas Teufel
    Part III. Nomic Necessity and the Metaphysics of Nature:
    7. Kant's necessitation account of laws and the nature of natures James Messina
    8. Grounds, modality, and nomic necessity in the critical Kant Michela Massimi
    9. Kant on mathematical force laws Daniel Warren
    Part IV. Laws in Physics:
    10. Kant's conception of causal necessity and its legacy Michael Friedman
    11. Metaphysical foundations of neoclassical mechanics Marius Stan
    Part V. Laws in Biology:
    12. Laws in biology and unity of nature Angela Breitenbach
    13. The building forces of nature and Kant's teleology of the living Catherine Wilson.

  • Editors

    Michela Massimi, University of Edinburgh
    Michela Massimi is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh. She has published widely on Kant and on the history and philosophy of science.

    Angela Breitenbach, University of Cambridge
    Angela Breitenbach is a Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Cambridge and a fellow of King's College. Her research focuses on Kant, the philosophy of science, and aesthetics.


    Eric Watkins, Karl Ameriks, Paul Guyer, Hannah Ginsborg, Rachel Zuckert, Thomas Teufel, James Messina, Michela Massimi, Daniel Warren, Michael Friedman, Marius Stan, Angela Breitenbach, Catherine Wilson

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