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date: 20 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the development over the nineteenth century of two methods used by Kant to provide foundations for the natural sciences, the first a structural deduction grounded in manifolds of representation (geometry, chronometry, kinematics), the second a deontic or regulative appeal to conditions of experience (the law of causality). It is shown how the first of these collapsed when scientists and philosophers in Berlin, such as Müller, Trendelenburg, and Helmholtz, transformed Kant’s theory of space and time into a kinematic theory. I argue that Heinrich Hertz’s geometrization of force collapsed the second strategy, giving rise to the picture-theory of scientific representation. In conclusion, the role of these strategies in providing foundations for logic in the work of twentieth-century philosophers such as Wittgenstein, Carnap, Quine, Goodman, and Kripke is considered.

Keywords: Kant, Helmholtz, Hertz, Wittgenstein, German Idealism, time, measurement, space-time, conventionalism, semantic view, geometry, inertia, law of causality, semantics, metrology

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