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The chapter looks at the ways in which the analytic method adopted in Parts I and II, where Kant addresses the possibility of mathematics and natural science, bears on the status of metaphysics. The essay canvasses two possible accounts of how mathematics and science relate to metaphysics as a priori cognition – the ‘Necessary Conditions’ view, and the ‘Examples First’ proposal – and rejects each. Rather, Kant denies that metaphysics can be a science not because it fails to achieve the necessity that we find in mathematics and natural science, but instead because metaphysics does not amount to cognition at all. The analytic method Kant adopts does not lead to a quick rejection of metaphysics as not being something we in fact possess, but requires a subtler and more complex case to show that metaphysics cannot have any cognition of an a priori object, though it still has some other methodological value to offer.
This chapter places Kant’s conception of a priori laws within the framework of the legal metaphors. It introduces the relevant aspects of natural right theory and the notion of laws in the natural sciences as historical background to the legal metaphors. The main argument is that Kant’s notion of laws is embedded in his legal metaphors and his account of natural regularities as lawful also originates in the natural right framework. This serves as background to Kant’s account of the understanding as prescribing laws to nature and to thought. The background of Kant’s notion of laws in natural right and natural science shows how reason’s a priori laws are both descriptive of regularities in nature and prescriptive of valid judgements.
A common way to characterize the shift from modern to contemporary American poetry is as a turn from sweeping, impersonal myths and symbols to more locally grounded, experiential stories and images. Science and technology are often grouped together, but their roles in contemporary poetry are quite distinct, particularly so now that technology has begun to change the ways in which poems are written, circulated, and read. This chapter provides a historical overview of poetry's engagement with science. In the early twentieth century, poets began to embrace science more whole heartedly, often drawing parallels between the work of major discoverers like Marie Curie and Albert Einstein and the literary innovations being carried out under the banner of modernism. A.R. Ammons insists on the equal validity of prayer and cell, soul and chemistry. Frederick Seidel has ventured into the complexities of modern physics than most of his peers, particularly in The Cosmos Poems.
Kant's "Review of Silberschlag's Work: Theory of the Fireball that appeared on 23 July 1762" was published anonymously on 23 March 1764. While it is uncertain exactly what motivated Kant to respond in this way, the review is clearly positive. This work consists of two main parts, the first of which treats of the atmosphere, and the second of the fireball, to which further addenda are attached with reports and observations that had come in. The first part discusses air and its changes and views the sea of air as an atmosphere and a new division of regions of air is presented in addition to the various considerable remarks about mists, fog, clouds, and rain. The second part treats of the orbit the creation and the use of this meteor in three sections. The three copper plates illustrate the theory, the shape and the path that this fire-mass took.
On 1 April 1758, Kant published a short essay on motion and rest that contained a clear illustration of how he approaches the fundamental principles of mechanics. Kant presents an attack first on the concept of absolute motion and then on a conception of inertia that rests on absolute motion. Kant then turns to criticize what he takes to be the standard conception of inertia, namely the force a body at rest has to resist another body changing its state. Kant proceeds to adduce two further arguments against the traditional notion of inertia based on difficulties that arise in explaining how a body at rest could nonetheless suddenly set itself in motion prior to impact; and how motion could still occur if action and reaction were equal and thus cancelled each other out. He explains the law of continuity, and derives rules of impact from his corrected concept of motion.
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