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‘With a Philosophical Eye’: the role of mathematical beauty in Kant’s intellectual development

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2020

Courtney David Fugate*
Affiliation:
Civilization Studies, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon FCHI, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA

Abstract

This paper shows that Kant’s investigation into mathematical purposiveness was central to the development of his understanding of synthetic a priori knowledge. Specifically, it provides a clear historical explanation as to why Kant points to mathematics as an exemplary case of the synthetic a priori, argues that his early analysis of mathematical purposiveness provides a clue to the metaphysical context and motives from which his understanding of synthetic a-priori knowledge emerged, and provides an analysis of the underlying structure of mathematical purposiveness itself, which can be described as unintentional, but also as objective and unlimited.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Canadian Journal of Philosophy 2014

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