mardi 3 février 2015

Space-Time and the Observer: In Defence of Objective Structrure (J. Mozersky)

Conférence | Lecture


(Queen's University)


Space-Time and the Observer: In Defence of Objective Structrure

To begin, I briefly recap (and defend) an old story: (1) Newton provides an account of space and time that renders them imperceptible and immutable; (2) Kant later argues that space and time receive their (necessarily Newtonian) structure from the forms of intuition; (3) Newton’s account of space and time is shown by Einstein to be inadequate; (4) this, therefore, spells the end for the Kantian approach to metaphysics.
I then raise what is for me a puzzling question: why do so many contemporary philosophers of science and metaphysicians adhere to a neo-Kantian picture, according to which the world gains its structure from our representations or representational activities?  Of great influence here is the work of two seminal 20th Century philosophers: Hilary Putnam and Nelson Goodman.  So, I turn next to a consideration of their arguments.  I find them to be question begging and, indeed, self-undermining, and I think it is illuminating to see why.
I conclude with some thoughts on the bigger picture: in what direction might the philosophy of science and metaphysics move if freed from the influence of Kant.

Friday, February 6th, 2014
3:00pm

University of Ottawa
Desmarais Hall (55, Laurier East)
Room 8161

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