SHS Web Conf.
Volume 161, 202312th Kant-Readings International Conference “Kant and the Ethics of Enlightenment: Historical Roots and Contemporary Relevance”
|Number of page(s)||8|
|Section||Science, Technology, and Enlightenment Ethics|
|Published online||08 March 2023|
Kant’s first published work as a revolt against “dead forces” in the natural evolution
Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University, 14 Aleksandra Nevskogo st., 236016 Kaliningrad, Russia
* Corresponding author: VGilmanov@kantiana.ru
In the preface to his Thoughts on the True Estimation of Living Forces Kant was unusually bold in stating that now one could be confident enough to disregard Leibniz and Newton as authorities if they impeded acquiring the truth, pointing out that they, too, could be found making mistakes. What force was it that inspired the young Kant to such resolution in his first work dedicated to the common European argument concerning the measure of motion of a physical body? Why did Kant define the motion of “mathematical bodies” as caused by “dead powers” (Leibniz’s definition)? Which praedicabilia, i.e. which a priori disposition of Kant’s mind had become a reason for such a confident beginning? And what is the source for Kant’s decision to acquire the truth rather than constantly keeping to the beaten track? I attempt to explain the disposition of Kant as a kind of eidos-memory and genuine intuition to defend the honour of human reason in its metaphysical mission of organic “vivification” of “dead powers” in opposition to the mechanical systems of his time. In first work Kant shows his amazing intuition regarding the issue of the interaction of mind and physical reality. This question is primarily connected to Kant’s appeal for vivification in his attempt at a new theory of “living forces”, rejected by his contemporaries. This attempt can be reduced to the disproof of the principle of absolute determinism, which, contrary to Kant, has become the basis of the paradigm of modern natural science. This paradigm in relation to Kant may become the cause of the “unnatural end of all things”.
Key words: Kant / “living forces” / measure of motion / physical theology / vivification
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2023
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