The Newtonian view is metaphysically wrong

The Newtonian view is metaphysically wrong - The Newtonian...

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The Newtonian view is metaphysically wrong. The problem is that the concept of space is unintelligible: "they have to admit two eternal and infinite self-subsistent non-entities (space and time), which are there (yet without there being anything real) only in order to contain in themselves what is real" (A39/B56). (See Berkeley's version of this criticism for a clearer account of what is wrong here.) The Leibnizian view is epistemically faulty. If space is derivative from bodies, then it can be known only through bodies, and therefore a posteriori . But Kant held that space cannot be known empirically, since our knowledge of it is knowledge of necessity. The key to the criticism is that space was thought to be a confused mode of representation, a mere "creature of the imagination," a fiction. This fiction could only be the product of experience by way of abstraction. Thus any general truths about space are only valid of those bodies which one has experienced, not all bodies one could experience. The Newtonian view does not contain this epistemic defect. Since space is something in its own
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This note was uploaded on 11/09/2011 for the course PSY PSY2012 taught by Professor Scheff during the Fall '09 term at Broward College.

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