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Hermann Cohen’s Das Princip der Infinitesimal-Methode: The History of an Unsuccessful Book

Giovanelli, Marco (2015) Hermann Cohen’s Das Princip der Infinitesimal-Methode: The History of an Unsuccessful Book. UNSPECIFIED.

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Abstract

This paper offers an introduction to Hermann Cohen’s Das Princip der Infinitesimal-Methode (1883), and recounts the history of its controversial reception by Cohen’s early sympathizers,
who would become the so-called ‘Marburg school’ of Neo-Kantianism, as well as the reactions it provoked outside this group. By dissecting the ambiguous attitudes of the best-known representatives of the school (Paul Natorp and Ernst Cassirer), as well as those of several minor figures (August Stadler, Kurd Lasswitz, Dimitry Gawronsky, etc.), this paper shows that Das Princip der Infinitesimal-Methode is a unicum in the history of philosophy: it represents a strange case of an unsuccessful book’s enduring influence. The “puzzle of Cohen’s Infinitesimalmethode,” as we will call it, can be solved by looking beyond the scholarly results of the book, and instead focusing on the style of philosophy it exemplified. Moreover, the paper shows that Cohen never supported, but instead explicitly opposed, the doctrine of the centrality of the ‘concept of function’, with which Marburg Neo-Kantianism is usually associated.


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Item Type: Other
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Giovanelli, Marcomarco.giovanelli@uni-tuebingen.de
Additional Information: Longer Version of a submitted paper
Keywords: Hermann Cohen, Ernst Cassirer, Marburg School, Neokantianism, Infinitesimal Calculus
Subjects: General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
Specific Sciences > Mathematics
General Issues > Philosophers of Science
Depositing User: PD Dr. Marco Giovanelli
Date Deposited: 25 Dec 2015 14:25
Last Modified: 25 Dec 2015 14:25
Item ID: 11818
Subjects: General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
Specific Sciences > Mathematics
General Issues > Philosophers of Science
Date: November 2015
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/11818

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