The Marriage of Metaphysics and Geometry in Kant's Prolegomena (Forthcoming in Cambridge Critical Guide to Kant’s Prolegomena)

In Peter Thiekle (ed.), Cambridge Critical Guide to Kant’s Prolegomena. Cambridge (2021)
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Abstract

Kant was engaged in a lifelong struggle to achieve what he calls in the 1756 Physical Monadology (PM) a “marriage” of metaphysics and geometry (1:475). On one hand, this involved showing that metaphysics and geometry are complementary, despite the seemingly irreconcilable conflicts between these disciplines and between their respective advocates, the Leibnizian-Wolffians and the Newtonians. On the other hand, this involved defining the terms of their union, which meant among other things, articulating their respective roles in grounding Newtonian natural science. In this paper, consider how Kant’s project of marrying metaphysics and geometry evolves from the pre-Critical to the Critical period and how key discussions in the Prolegomena are related to the lifelong marriage project.

Author Profiles

James Messina
University of Wisconsin, Madison

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