Manual Essays on Kant and Hume

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Matias Slavov. He is interested in the history and philosophy of science, the philosophy of David Hume, and the philosophy of time. Brought to you by Curio , an Aeon partner. Edited by Sam Dresser.

Essays on Kant and Hume - Lewis White Beck - Google книги

In , Albert Einstein wrote a letter to the philosopher and physicist Moritz Schlick, who had recently composed an article on the theory of relativity. It is very possible that without these philosophical studies I would not have arrived at the solution.

I read him with Konrad Habicht and Solovine in Bern. This was in the process of devising the special theory of relativity, which Einstein eventually published in We should therefore take a closer look. In the view of John D Norton, professor of the history and philosophy of science at the University of Pittsburgh, Einstein learned an empiricist theory of concepts from Hume and plausibly from Mach and the positivist tradition.

He then implemented concept empiricism in his argument for the relativity of simultaneity. The result is that different observers will not agree whether two events are simultaneous or not. Take the openings of two windows, a living room window and a kitchen window. There is no absolute fact to the matter of whether the living room window opens before the kitchen window, or whether they open simultaneously or in reverse order. The temporal order of such events is observer-dependent; it is relative to the designated frame of reference.

Once the relativity of simultaneity was established, Einstein was able to reconcile the seemingly irreconcilable aspects of his theory, the principle of relativity and the light postulate. This conclusion required abandoning the view that there is such a thing as an unobservable time that grounds temporal order.

The metaphysics of Kant and Hume - Daniel Kaufman & Robert Wright [Sophia]

This is the view that Einstein got from Hume. This includes all areas of philosophy and a variety of scientific disciplines. A poll conducted with professional philosophers a few years ago asked them to name the philosopher, no longer living, with whom they most identify. Hume won, by a clear margin. The dominant theory of cognition of early modern philosophy was idea theory. Ideas denote both mental states and the material of our thinking. A mental state is, for example, a toothache, and the material of our thinking are thoughts, for example, of a mathematical object such as a triangle.

The early modern version of innatism emphasises that the mind is not a blank slate, but we are equipped with some ideas before our birth and sensory perception. Hume starts at the same point as his fellow Briton and predecessor, John Locke. The mind begins to have ideas when it begins to perceive. Drawing on this insight, Hume devised his copy principle. Perception, for Hume, is divided into ideas and impressions. The difference between the two is a difference of degree, not kind.

Impressions are more forceful and lively than ideas. When I had my finger on the glass, I felt pain impression , and now I have a recollection of that perception idea.

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All simple ideas resemble some simple impressions. Ideas are copies of impressions. If any term is to be meaningful, it needs to be attached to an impression-based idea. This is how the principle should be applied:. How do we acquire the idea of time in the first place? He presents his argument in the second part of the first Book of his Treatise , where he submits that we get the idea of time by perceiving change.

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Change is observable either in the succession of objects or in their relative motions. A good example of succession is the sequence of musical chords. Instead, there must be a succession: chord, pause, chord, a different chord, and so on. Another source for the idea of time is observable relative motion. Time, as it appears to us, is made of indivisible moments that are parts of succession. Something counts as a duration only if it is a temporal complex. We must perceive a change with respect to moments; otherwise we could not abstract the idea of time.

Imagine a stationary observer in front of a huge grey wall.

In this scenario, there is nothing changing in front of her. The wall is a steadfast object. It has no duration. Such an unchangeable object cannot be the source for the idea of time alone. Although the wall is a steadfast object, the moving item is not. When it is moving, it is changing its location with respect to the observer. If the observer would be moving together with the object at the same relative velocity, there would be no change and therefore no duration in her viewpoint.

There is no evidence for absolute, self-existing time. Nor is there evidence for one universal time. He argues for absolute time in his monumental Principia: Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy Then he goes on to distinguish between absolute, mathematical time and relative, measurable time, like clock time. Absolute time exists substantially by itself. Its existence is independent of change. Whatever physical there is in the Universe, and however it moves, it does not have an influence on time itself.

Time has a definite structure: it flows equally and unidirectionally. Consequently, the time difference between two simultaneous events is zero, and the time difference between two successive events is not zero. Everyone would agree on this, according to Newton. Temporal order and direction is grounded in time itself.

Theory of Self: Kant vs Hume Essay

Initially, it might seem that Newton is committed to some dubious metaphysical speculation by assuming utterly unobservable entities. Kant presents this argument in his major work, Critique of Pure Reason According to Adrian Bardon in A Brief History of the Philosophy of Time , Kant focuses on the adverbial use of the concept of time, not on its substantive use. This means that we experience things temporally, not in time. Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

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Essays on Immanuel Kant

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