Philosophische Zeitschrift der Kant-Gesellschaft
Ed. by Baum, Manfred / Dörflinger, Bernd / Klemme, Heiner F.
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A Revolution in Method, Kant's “Copernican Hypothesis”, and the Necessity of Natural Laws
1University of Wisconsin, Madison
Citation Information: Kant-Studien. Volume 102, Issue 1, Pages 1–21, ISSN (Online) 1613-1134, ISSN (Print) 0022-8877, DOI: 10.1515/kant.2011.001, May 2011
- Published Online:
In an effort to account for our a priori knowledge of synthetic necessary truths, Kant proposes to extend the successful method used in mathematics and the natural sciences to metaphysics. In this paper, a uniform account of that method is proposed and the particular contribution of the ‘Copernican hypothesis’ to our knowledge of necessary truths is explained. It is argued that, though the necessity of the truths is in a way owing to the object's relation to our cognition, the truths we come to know are fully objective, expressing necessary relations between properties. Kant's distinction between ‘phenomena’ and ‘noumena’ is shown to serve to properly restrict the scope of the necessity claims so that they do express necessary connections between properties.