XI KANT KONGRESS, XI Congresso Kantiano Internazionale

Bacon’s Illuminating Experiments and Kant’s Experiment of Pure Reason

Brett Alan Fulkerson-Smith

Edificio: Facoltà di Agraria
Sala: sala Locke
Data: 22 maggio 2010 - 14:30
Ultima modifica: 11 aprile 2010


In not only his Preface to the second edition of the Critique of Pure Reason, but also many of his lectures on logic, Kant discusses and lauds the efforts of Francis Bacon to establish physics as a natural science. In this paper, I explore the methodological influence of Bacon on Kant’s own efforts to establish a scientific metaphysics in the Critique. I argue that the experiment of pure reason that occurs in the Antinomy of Pure Reason is an illuminating experiment, since: 1) as Bacon allows, illuminating experiments must be performed at a theoretical crossroads in order to provide the facts necessary to determine which of available, plausible alternatives is correct; and 2) given the structure of the Critique, the Antinomy of Pure Reason is a theoretical crossroads about the fundamental principle that will allow metaphysics to become a science.