Skip to main content Accessibility help

Apriority, Metaphysics, and Empirical Content in Kant's Theory of Matter

  • Sebastian Rand (a1)


This paper addresses problems associated with the role of the empirical concept of matter in Kant's Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science, offering an interpretation emphasizing two points consistently neglected in the secondary literature: the distinction between logical and real essence, and Kant's claim that motion must be represented in pure intuition by static geometrical figures. I conclude that special metaphysics cannot achieve its stated and systematically justified goal of discovering the real essence of matter, but that Kant requires this failure for his larger philosophical presentation of the dialectic that ‘irremediably attaches to human reason’ (A298/B354).


Corresponding author


Hide All
Anderson, R. Lanier (2005) ‘The Wolffian Paradigm and its Discontents: Kant's Containment Definition of Analyticity in Historical Context’. Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie, 87, 2274.
Buchdahl, Gerd (1969) Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Science. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Cramer, Konrad (1985) Nicht-reine synthetische Urteile a priori: Ein Problem der Tranzendentalphilosophie Immanuel Kants. Heidelberg: Carl Winter Universitätsverlag.
Friedman, Michael (1992) Kant and the Exact Sciences. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Friedman, Michael (2005) ‘Kant on Science and Experience’. In E. O'Neill (ed.), Early Modern Philosophy: Mind, Mater, and Metaphysics (Oxford: Oxford University Press), 262275.
Guyer, Paul (2006) Kant. London: Routledge.
Hegel, G. W. F. (1986) Wissenschaft der Logik I. In E. Moldenhauer and K. M. Michel (eds), Werke (Frankfurt a. M.: Suhrkamp), vol. 5.
Kant, Immanuel (1902ff.) Kants Gesammelte Schriften. Ed. Königlich Preussische Akademie der Wissenschaften. Berlin: de Gruyter. (Cited by volume and page number, except for the first Critique, cited in the standard A/B pagination.).
Langton, Rae (1998) Kantian Humility. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Plaaß, Peter (1994) Kant's Theory of Natural Science. Trans. A. E. Miller and M. G. Miller. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Pollok, Konstantin (2001) Kants Metaphysische Anfangsgründe der Naturwissenschaft: Ein Kritischer Kommentar. Hamburg: Meiner.
Pollok, Konstantin (2002) ‘ “Fabricating a World in Accordance with Mere Fantasy … ”? The Origins of Kant's Critical Theory of Matter’. Review of Metaphysics, 56, 6197.
Pollok, Konstantin (2006) ‘Kant's Critical Concept of Motion’. Journal of the History of Philosophy, 44(4), 559575.
Ripstein, Arthur (2009) Force and Freedom: Kant's Legal and Political Philosophy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Warren, Daniel (2001) Reality and Impenetrability in Kant's Philosophy of Nature. New York: Routledge.

Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Apriority, Metaphysics, and Empirical Content in Kant's Theory of Matter

  • Sebastian Rand (a1)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.