Fourth Cambridge-Edinburgh-St Andrews Kant Reading Group, 21st May 2013

As part of our Semester Three seminars, today we read Michael Friedman on Kant’s Construction of Nature, chapter 3, pages 275-335.

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One Response to Fourth Cambridge-Edinburgh-St Andrews Kant Reading Group, 21st May 2013

  1. mmassimi says:

    This week we approached the beginning of chapter 3 of Friedman’s new book “Kant’s Construction of Nature”. There was a widespread consensus among our English and Scottish contingents that we wanted to read this long-awaited new monograph.
    The choice of starting with chapter 3—idiosyncratic as it proved to be—was simply inspired by the theme of our network (i.e., we wanted to explore Friedman’s take on Kant’s laws of mechanics). Most of our discussion centred around a cluster of concepts: i.e., ‘moving force’ (back to Wolff’s vis motrix); ‘quantity of matter’ (is it the same as Newton’s mass qua inertial mass?), and ‘quantity of motion’ (back to the Cartesian momentum or dead force). We reflected on the Newtonian / Wolffian legacy behind each of these concepts, and the extent to which Kant’s mechanics can be grounded on dynamics (in Kant’s own terms).
    We reached the conclusion that there were too many issues that we needed to refresh our memory of, before we could have a good grasp of chapter 3. So, back to the blackboard, we decided to go back to Kant’s Metaphysical Foundations, and its Preface, directly.

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