Kant’s Ideal of Systematicity in Historical Context

Kantian Review 26 (2):261-286 (2021)
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This article explains Kant’s claim that sciences must take, at least as their ideal, the form of a ‘system’. I argue that Kant’s notion of systematicity can be understood against the background of de Jong & Betti’s Classical Model of Science (2010) and the writings of Georg Friedrich Meier and Johann Heinrich Lambert. According to my interpretation, Meier, Lambert, and Kant accepted an axiomatic idea of science, articulated by the Classical Model, which elucidates their conceptions of systematicity. I show that Kant’s critique of the mathematical method is compatible with his adherence to this axiomatic conception of science. I further show that systematicity furthers traditionally accepted logical ideals of scientific knowledge, which explains why Meier and Kant think that sciences must be ‘systematic’.

Author's Profile

Hein Van Den Berg
University of Amsterdam


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