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Causality and Complementarity in Kant, Hermann, and Bohr

Cuffaro, Michael E. (2018) Causality and Complementarity in Kant, Hermann, and Bohr. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Kant's doctrine of transcendental idealism, as put forth in the first Critique, is best understood as a conceptual or epistemic doctrine. However critics of the conceptual understanding of transcendental idealism argue that it amounts to an arbitrary stipulation and that it does not do justice to the real ontological distinctions that mattered for Kant. Some stipulations are better than others, however. In this paper I argue that Kant's doctrine, though it should be understood `merely epistemically', is nevertheless full of significance and is motivated through his long-running pre-critical struggle to discover first principles for metaphysical cognition. I further argue that an epistemic understanding of the doctrine of transcendental idealism provides a Kantian with a natural way of understanding the novel epistemic situation presented to us by modern physics and in particular by quantum mechanics. And I argue that considering Kant's philosophy in the light of the challenges posed by quantum mechanics illuminates, in return, several elements of his philosophical framework, notably the principle of causality, the doctrine of synthetic a priori principles in general, and most generally: the conceptual understanding of transcendental idealism itself. I illustrate this via an analysis of the views of the physicist Niels Bohr as well the views of the (neo-)Kantian philosopher Grete Hermann.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Cuffaro, Michael E.mike@michaelcuffaro.com0000-0003-4477-5601
Additional Information: Comments welcome.
Keywords: Immanuel Kant Grete Hermann Niels Bohr Quantum Mechanics Indeterminacy Uncertainty Transcendental Idealism
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > Laws of Nature
General Issues > Philosophers of Science
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Depositing User: Dr. Michael Cuffaro
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2018 16:55
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2018 16:55
Item ID: 14357
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > Laws of Nature
General Issues > Philosophers of Science
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Date: February 2018
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/14357

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