Two Kindred Neo-Kantian Philosophies of Science: Pap’s The A Priori in Physical Theory and Cassirer’s Determinism and Indeterminism in Modern Physics

Journal of Transcendental Philosophy 1 (1) (2021)
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Abstract

The main thesis of this paper is that Pap’s The Functional A Priori of Physical Theory (Pap 1946, henceforth FAP) and Cassirer’s Determinism and Indeterminism in Modern Physics (Cassirer 1937, henceforth DI) may be conceived as two kindred accounts of a late Neo-Kantian philosophy of science. They elucidate and clarify each other mutually by elaborating conceptual possibilities and pointing out affinities of neo-Kantian ideas with other currents of 20th century’s philosophy of science, namely, pragmatism, conventionalism, and logical empiricism. Taking into account these facts, it seems not too far fetched to conjecture that under more favorable circumstances Pap could have served as a mediator between the “analytic” and “continental” tradition thereby overcoming the dogmatic dualism of these two philosophical currents that has characterized philosophy in the second half the 20th century.

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Thomas Mormann
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München (PhD)

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